Pearson gearing up for Commonwealth Games

The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) -- Olympic champion Sally Pearson is looking to rediscover her form for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow by racing in the 100 meters hurdles at the Areva meeting in Paris on Saturday.

In the eighth leg of the Diamond League, Pearson will face 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson, Lolo Jones, Tiffany Porter and Queen Harrison.

''Commonwealth Games, that's what I'm concentrating on,'' Pearson said. ''That's the biggest goal for me. I think by then it'll be eight weeks since my injury. So I think I'll be in perfect shape for it. Just in time to hopefully regain my title.''

The Commonwealth Games start on July 23.

Pearson is only the sixth best performer this year with a time of 12.59 set in February. She pulled out of Diamond League races in Rome and New York last month because of a hamstring strain.

''I'm good now,'' Pearson said. ''It's just about getting my body right, getting my rhythm back and my speed back. So hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to go a bit faster.''

Harper-Nelson clocked the second best time this season in 12.54 by finishing second behind Brianna Rollins in Rome.

''It's definitely the best start to any season I've ever had,'' Harper-Nelson said. ''I think the big thing has been my start this year. I had a really good start at the nationals, and that's really what I have to add to my race in order to drop the times.''

On the men's side, 22-year-old Pascal Martinot-Lagarde is having a breakthrough season. The Frenchman won three Diamond League races this year, including the 110 hurdles in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he ran a personal best of 13.06 on Thursday.

Martinot-Lagarde is the second best performer this year and will compete against world champion David Oliver, Jason Richardson and Ryan Wilson.

''He's an amazing hurdler,'' Oliver said about the Frenchman. ''Good technique and great speed. We've seen him come along for years. It's not like a surprise. Everybody has been well aware of his capabilities. Now he's showing it.''

In the women's 200, Tori Bowie will challenge Olympic champion Allyson Felix and world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Bowie has won three Diamond League races this season, including the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, where she ran a year-leading 22.18.

Asafa Powell pulled out of the men's 100 because of a hamstring injury, the meeting organizers said. Powell was set to compete for the first time since he failed a doping test in June 2013.

In the men's 400 hurdles, Olympic champion Felix Sanchez will take on Michael Tinsley and Javier Culson, who clocked a year-leading 48.03 in New York and also won in Lausanne.

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