Pearson chasing yet another major medal

Australia's Sally Pearson
Hurdler Sally Pearson is among Australia's best medal hopes in London. (AAP)

Sally Pearson is chasing a fifth major medal at the world athletics championships in London.

The loss of Jared Tallent to a hamstring injury lays bare the level of expectation on Sally Pearson to once again save Australia's skin on the medals table at the world athletics championships in London.

Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the ultra-consistent walker and the sprint hurdles queen have been responsible for more than 50 per cent of the medals - 11 out of 21 - accrued by Australia at global championships.

Another five were won by pole vaulter Steve Hooker and long jumper Mitchell Watt, both of whom are long since retired.

Far too often for Australia at the majors, it's been Pearson and/or Tallent or bust.

Head coach Craig Hilliard believes she is ready to deliver yet again on the big stage.

"She's an Olympic gold medallist, a world championship gold medallist, she nearly broke the world record in Daegu (in 2011)," he said on Wednesday night.

"That's Sally, she is confident in her ability at the moment, she is in a really good space and her warm-up yesterday was fantastic.

"She's ready to go."

Now enjoying the challenge of coaching herself, the 30-year-old Queenslander has made a remarkable return to top-level competition after a string of serious wrist, hamstring and Achilles injuries.

Speaking last week at the training camp in Tonbridge, Pearson said that given the setbacks she had endured over the past three years, a medal of any colour in London would rank with any of the achievements of her glittering career.

Standing in her way as usual is a flotilla of flying Americans, led by Kendra Harrison, the world record holder.

But Harrison has yet to prove her mettle in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of a major final.

Countrywoman Brianna Rollins has definitely done that - having beaten Pearson into second spot at the 2013 worlds and claimed Olympic gold in Rio last year.

However, Rollins won't be a factor in London as she is serving a one-year ban for missing three doping tests.

The most encouraging sign yet that Pearson's medal hopes are genuine came last month in the Diamond League meet at the London Olympic Stadium when she flew home for second spot behind Harrison in 12.48.

It was Pearson's fastest time since the London Olympics - even better than her silver-medal effort at the 2013 world titles.

It also lifted her to third spot on the 2017 rankings behind only Harrison and fellow American Jasmin Stowers, who failed to qualify for the US team for the world titles.

"She is a major championships performer - that is what she has got going for her," said Hilliard.

"They should fear Sally.

"I think she can (challenge them), absolutely - and more importantly Sally believes she can."

The schedule for the 100m hurdles in London is an unusual one, with the heats and semi-final on Friday and the final the following evening (early Sunday AEST).

Source: AAP