Sally Pearson pulls out of Games
World Champion Sally Pearson has officially withdrawn from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games due to an Achilles injury.
The Olympic, two-time world and dual Commonwealth Games hurdles gold medallist made the announcement on Thursday 5 April.
"I did everything I possibly could do get out and race for Australia," Pearson said.
"I was full of confidence warming up (for training two days ago). I went into a hurdles drills and couldn't do it. These injuries can spike very quickly. It was unfortunate the timing was now but my health comes first.
"This is about my health, I want to go to Tokyo in 2020.
"Gutted, absolutely gutted. There was a lot of tears flowing. I guess you could call it grief."
Having had a close association with GC2018, since the development of the successful bid in 2011, it's not the end of the Gold Coast Games for the Ambassador.
As a champion on and off the track, GC2018.com takes a look at Pearson's starring and inspirational role in the Games journey.
Glasgow 2014 Closing Ceremony
After her 100m hurdles triumph at Glasgow 2014, Pearson not only starred as Australia’s closing ceremony flag-bearer but also presented the GC2018 dream to the world. Transitioning from Glasgow 2014 to Gold Coast 2018, Pearson joined Australian surfer legend Mick Fanning and Darwin-born singer Jessica Mauboy on stage to present GOLDOC's vision of staging the best Games possible.
Official GC2018 Ambassador announcement
On 12 July 2016, Pearson was officially appointed the first Ambassador of the Gold Coast Games. Surrounded by budding athletics stars, Pearson stated "I’m thrilled to have officially joined the Gold Coast 2018 family to help get people all over the world as excited as I am about this magnificent event."
Queen's Baton reveal
Pearson was on-hand with co-Ambassador Kurt Fearnley OAM, swimming champion and commentator Giaan Rooney OAM, triathlete Ryan Fisher, weightlifter Damon Kelly and cyclist Kristina Clonan to reveal the Baton design on 20 November 2015.
One Year to go Celebration
Tuesday 4 April, 2016 marked one year to go until GC2018 and the continuation of Pearson's journey as part of the Ambassador family. From speaking on-stage at a celebration breakfast to revealing the GC2018 competition schedule at the top of the Q1, the home-grown hurdler continued to share her excitement for the Games.
Charity Gala and Medal reveal
Having a number of other medals in the trophy cabinet, Pearson had the honour of being the first athlete to lay eyes on and hold the medals in an on-stage presentation with Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, the designer of the medals.
“Medals are symbols of success and we aspire to have them."
First look at Athletics track
The firsts continued for Pearson, joining decathlete Cedric Dubler in getting the first look at the newly laid athletics track at Carrara Stadium. The chance to walk the Commonwealth Games track and visualise the event had been a long time coming for the local.
An explosion of dazzling colour and celebration, Pearson played a starring role in the Opening Ceremony, having the honour of handing the Queen’s Baton to Prince Charles for the official opening part of the ceremony.
Pearson's career highlights
2001 won gold in the 100m and 90m hurdles at the Australian Youth Championships
2003 won gold in the 100m hurdles at the World Youth Championships, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada
2003 made her debut at the senior IAAF World Championships in Paris, France, contesting the 4x100m relay
2004 won bronze in the 100m Junior World Championships in Grosseto, Italy
2006 fell in the 100m hurdles final at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne 2006
2008 won silver in the 100m hurdles at the Olympic Games in Beijing, after photo finish
2010 won gold in the 100m hurdles at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India
2011 won gold in the 100m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea
2012 won gold in the 60m hurdles at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey
2012 won gold in the 100m hurdles at the London 2012 Olympic Games
2013 won silver at the 100m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia
2014 defended her 100m hurdles title at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
2015 broke her left wrist in 12 places while competing at the Diamond League event in Rome, Italy. Season over
2016 tore her hamstring during training and could not defend her Olympic title at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
2017 returned to the top table by winning the 100m hurdles title at the IAAF World Championships in London, England