Having been denied the chance to avenge a rare defeat by one leading US hurdler in Melbourne this weekend, Sally Pearson will train alongside another crack American in the buildup to the IAAF world Challenge meet.
Pearson – who was surprisingly relegated to the silver-medal position behind Nia Ali at the world indoor titles in Poland early this month – will double up in the 100m flat and hurdles at Lakeside Stadium on Saturday night.
A proposed rematch over the barriers with Ali was scuppered when the American withdrew on Monday.
Ali’s absence will leave Pearson racing the clock and hoping for a time similar to her sizzling season-opener of 12.59 seconds in Perth last month.
The 100m flat is not so clear-cut, although the Australian will still start as favourite after scoring a comfortable win over new national record holder Melissa Breen in Sydney last weekend.
“In the 100 metres, everyone knows Melbourne is not great for sprinting but hopefully the winds will be in our favour,” Pearson said on Wednesday.
“I’d be happy with an 11.2 run.
“Obviously I don’t concentrate solely on the sprints, the technique is a little bit different.
“But it would be nice to go away with the win and another fast time.”
Pearson, the reigning Olympic and 2011 world champion, will share a training session on Thursday with American hurdling powerhouse David Oliver, who won last year’s 110m world title in Moscow.
“I haven’t trained with Sally very much in the past but I have watched her train as well as compete and she is a very good competitor and great warrior,” said Oliver.
“We plan on doing a couple of starts tomorrow so that should be a nice training session for myself.
“It’s a part or my race that needs work and a good part of her race so I am looking forward to that.”
Oliver has been impressed with young Australian high hurdlers Nick Hough and Sam Baines, both of whom were dragged through to personal bests by the American at last weekend’s Sydney Track Classic.
“You have two young guys who have proven themselves on the international level in juniors,” said Oliver.
“It is only a matter of time if they can stick with the good training environment.
“I have had a good opportunity to train with Sam Baines a few times and see what he is about.
“He’s a cool guy and definitely a good competitor as well as Nick Hough he is a good guy as well, he’s very strong.
“If they clean up a few things here and there, this could be a good springboard for the Commonwealth Games.”
Australia’s most recent world-class 110m hurdler was Atlanta Olympic finalist Kyle Vander Kuyp.