Australia's greatest modern-day track and field athlete Sally Pearson announces her retirement last year because of a devastating run of injuries.
Australia's greatest modern-day track and field athlete Sally Pearson announces her retirement last year because of a devastating run of injuries.

Only a world war can stop Tokyo Games: Pearson

SALLY Pearson says only a "world war" can stop the Olympics, and is adamant this year's Tokyo Games will go ahead despite coronavirus fears.

Pearson, who won gold in the 100m hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics, retired from athletics in August last year before announcing two months ago she was pregnant with her first child.

With the baby due in July just before the scheduled start of the Tokyo Olympics, Pearson had no doubt she would be watching the Games holding her newborn baby despite other sporting events having been postponed or cancelled worldwide because of coronavirus.

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"The Games will definitely go ahead," Gold Coast-based Pearson said.

"The only thing that stops the Olympics is a world war.

 

"The experts are there, and they understand what's going to be happening with the health issues and the warnings, and we're still quite a few months away from it starting.

"Hopefully by then, it (coronavirus) will start to clear up and the panic will go down."

Australia's greatest modern-day track and field athlete competing at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Australia's greatest modern-day track and field athlete competing at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Pearson admits she will have itchy feet come the Games, with her competitive urge still intact.

"Of course I miss competing. I didn't make it any secret when I retired that I didn't want to retire, but it was something that I had to do - my body was telling me," she said.

"The competitive spark certainly hasn't left me. I wish I could still be doing it, but my body couldn't cope with the workload anymore.

"The Olympics will only just be a year from when I retired so it's definitely still going to be raw and there's going to be some emotions, but life goes on.

"I'll be cradling a newborn at the time, so my priorities will be there."

Pearson continues to champion female sport and will be at the MCG for Sunday's Women's T20 World Cup final between Australia and India.

Pearson announces her retirement last year. Picture: Tim Hunter
Pearson announces her retirement last year. Picture: Tim Hunter

With the decider being held on International Women's Day, Pearson said a packed house of 100,000 fans would be fitting.

"Wouldn't that be fantastic?" said Pearson, who is working with booking.com to entice people to women's sporting events.

"Just to set the scene for female sports in the future, to say people do want to watch us and people do respect us as elite athletes up against the men as well … to be able to prove that at the MCG would just be spectacular."



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