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Harper pays tribute to Pearson
John Salvado
08:54 AEST Wed Aug 8 2012

As the defending Olympic champion in the 100m hurdles, American Dawn Harper reckons she knows a fair bit about pressure.

So she was perhaps better placed than anyone to appreciate how red-hot favourite Sally Pearson was feeling ahead of a race all of Australia expected her to win.

And win she did on Tuesday night, but only after the judges checked the photo to determine she had beaten the fast-finishing Harper by two hundredths of a second in an Olympic record time of 12.35.

The gold and silver medallists exchanged hugs and high fives after the race.

"We're fierce competitors, it's back and forth between us," said Harper, after Pearson was able to reverse the one-two result from the 2008 Beijing Games.

"This is a really good confidence booster for her because I know she came here with pressure on her too.

" People say `you've run fast last year, you've run fast this year, but can you do it here?'

"She dealt with the pressure really well and as soon as we got done I looked at her and it was like `how are you?'

"She's a great person."

Harper was proud to have run two personal bests in the semi-final and final on Tuesday and proud to have overcome a knee injury.

She could hear the doubters.

"To go away with a medal with the type of pressure I had on me is great," she said.

"It was like `can she do it?' and those sort of things.

"I feel like I've shown some people up.

"I knew it was going to be a dog race, it was going to come down to it.

"12.37 is not bad, I can't be mad at it.

"I said I want to be part of the 12.30 club."

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