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‘Plenty of work to do’ before Rio Olympics, says gold medallist Sally Pearson

Double take: n Olympian Sally Pearson attends the unveiling of her wax figure at Madame Tussauds. Photo: Anthony JohnsonOlympic gold medallist Sally Pearson is back in full training but admits she faces an uphill battle to be at her peak for the Rio de Janeiro Games.
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“It’s only eight months away, we haven’t got  a lot of time, but plenty of work to do before then” she said.

The 110m hurdles champion said her preparation had not much changed and that she was completely focused on training and getting herself ready.

“Yeah, getting ready for that, training up, getting strong and fit,” she said. “It [the wrist] is going really well, I’m very happy and looking forward to next year.”

The complicated surgery to repair two shattered bones and a dislocated wrist has left Pearson unable to push off in the same manner that helped the 29-year-old forge one of the great n track careers.

Pearson has spent several months since her fall in June regaining strength and flexibility in her left hand and admits it has been difficult at times adjusting to a foreign starting technique.

“It’s funny, last week it was horrible but this week I felt great,” Pearson said.

Pearson edged out American Dawn Harper by two hundredths of a second in a tense photo finish to clinch her gold medal in London and when asked if she was concerned that she may lose critical time out of the blocks, said somewhat unconvincingly: “I don’t think so.

“It’s just a matter of my body getting used to the new position.”

Pearson still has no clear time frame for a return to racing. She has been earmarked to make her comeback over the barriers at the Canberra Track Classic on February 20 but the Queenslander isn’t admitting as much if she is.

“I’m just doing the hard yards – November and December are really tough – and my coach will let me know when he wants me to race,” Pearson said. “I feel really good but it’s still probably a month or two away.”

In recognition of her sporting achievements, in addition to being awarded an Order of Medal in 2014 for her contribution to the sport after her 2012 London Olympics win, Pearson had a wax figure of herself unveiled on Wednesday.

The figure was an exciting and overwhelming honour, she said.

“It’s quite overwhelming but obviously a huge honour and going through the whole process of doing the measuring and taking the photos, it’s really quite exciting to be able to be here today and seeing it live. I don’t really know how to react to it, I don’t think anyone really would, because it’s something that doesn’t obviously happen every day, and then you see it here literally staring at yourself. It’s great.”

In order to create the startlingly life-like wax figure, Pearson said there was no particular sporting moment chosen, instead, she was carefully positioned and photographed, while precise measurements were taken.

“They chose the position they wanted me to be in, and I literally posed in that position for them, there wasn’t any particular moment, it was just getting the measurements.

“It was really interesting how they went about it and how they measured you. Obviously all the finer details are there, they’ve got everything, it’s got to be life-like.”

Madame Tussauds general manager Steve Hinks said the choice to unveil the Pearson figure in the new sports zone was a snapshot of the n spirit.

“The sports zone is an attempt to capture the spirit of and really to look at the one defining thing that makes what it is. It unites all sides of politics, all sides of the community, to our one love of sport. I think Sally actually really captures that beautifully.”

Hinks said Pearson was chosen because of the integrity and passion shown regarding her sport.

“As an athlete, Sally is a successful athlete in an incredibly competitive field, she goes about her business with such passion, such joy and such integrity, and I think really epitomises the spirit of ” he said.

with AAP

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