London 100m hurdling champ Sally Pearson of Australia suffered another setback Sunday, injuring her already ailing hamstring during a rare 4x100m relay appearance in Sri Lanka.
Pearson, who was expected to make her season debut on the hurdles two weeks from now in Manchester, had already missed the Australian season. Now the fresh grade-one tear is likely to sideline her another couple months.
“We’re taking every precaution with Sally, so now we don’t expect to see her competing until July,” Australian head coach Eric Hollingsworth told the AAP. “If we can get her through a good set of races in July, there should be no problem from there on in.”
“We just have to be ultra-cautious because it’s the second injury.”
Her injury also ended Australia’s chances of qualifying for Moscow’s worlds in the 4x100m, but Hollingsworth said it’s not expected to keep Pearson off the podium for her signature event.
“She is in good shape and the good thing is that generally with her, because she trains with such an intensity once she’s back, it shouldn’t be too long before she is back into race shape.”
But anymore setbacks could open up the field for the Americans Queen Harrison, Dawn Harper, Kellie Wells, and Lolo Jones, who among them own top four times of the season in the 100m hurdles.
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The Brazilian torch relay for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics has kicked off with volleyball player Fabiana Claudino running the first leg after the torch was ignited by embattled President Dilma Rousseff.
Rousseff says “Brazil is ready to host the most successful Olympics in history.”
The Olympic flame arrived in a lantern on a flight from Switzerland a few hours earlier and was taken to the Planalto presidential palace.
The three-month relay across Brazil, ending at the opening ceremony on Aug. 5 at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio, will involve 329 cities and 12,000 torchbearers. Rio organizers hope it will build enthusiasm for the games, which has lagged as Brazil battles bribery and corruption scandals and its deepest recession in decades.
The start of the relay comes just a week before the Brazilian senate is expected to suspend Rousseff for six months as it considers her impeachment.
MORE: Rio Olympic flame will live downtown — not in stadium
Michael Phelps could face his lightest-ever competition run-up to an Olympic Trials after opting not to swim at a meet in Atlanta next week.
Last week, Phelps noted one other scheduled meet before the U.S. Olympic Trials (June 26-July 3). That’s in Austin, Texas, from June 3-5.
In his previous four Olympic cycles, Phelps swam at least two meets in the final two months before the Olympic Trials, according to USA Swimming statistics.
Phelps’ training plan in May and June will be impacted by the impending birth of his first child. Fiancée Nicole Johnson is 36 weeks pregnant, according to her Instagram.
Without Phelps, the Atlanta meet is expected to include five-time 2015 World champion Katie Ledecky, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, Olympic 100m free champion Nathan Adrian and rising sprint freestyler Caeleb Dressel.
VIDEO: Phelps’ interview with Matt Lauer