Sally Pearson has challenged her rising domestic sprint rival Melissa Breen to convert a one-off 100m national record into consistent excellence.
Breen beat Pearson for the first time in 30 attempts in Canberra last month, only an hour after clocking 11.11 seconds to strip one hundredth of a second from Melissa Gainsford-Taylor’s longstanding national mark.
But Olympic and world 100m hurdles champion Pearson has since regained domestic supremacy in Breen’s pet event, powering to a dominant victory at last weekend’s Sydney Track Classic.
The next instalment will take place on Saturday at the IAAF World Challenge meet at Lakeside Stadium.
“It is really good to know we have some more sprinters coming up because we have lacked them over the years since the Melinda Gainsford-Taylor era and now Mel has come out and broken her record,” said Pearson, who will double up in the 100m flat and hurdles in Melbourne.
“But it would be nice to see if she could run that consistently now – that’s her next step, to be able to get down in those times and faster during the season.
“It was nice to get the win over her on Saturday and I think she would be pretty disappointed with the time – 11.40 seconds is a long way from 11.11.
“It would be nice for her to get back into fast shape again before the European season starts and before (the Glasgow Commonwealth Games) because that is going to be tough.
“The Jamaicans are coming out, they are going to be ready and 11.11 to them (is nothing) so she is going to have to step up her game if she wants to get in that final and get a medal.
“I think she can if she does all the right things in training and pushes herself to the limit.”
Breen, 23, said she was in better physical shape this week and looking forward to another showdown with Pearson.
“I was off my game in Sydney, I was a little bit unwell but when you get on the track there is no excuse and she got me well and truly,” Breen said on Friday.
“It’s a matter of executing a good race and in Sydney I just didn’t go, I was plodding.
“Running those times in Canberra and getting the win against Sal after 29 attempts gives me great confidence and I just need to hone in on the process and not be over-awed with the situation or change what I do.”
The other big domestic showdown in the most prestigious one-day meet on the Australian athletics calendar will be in the women’s javelin, where world championships silver medallist Kim Mickle, Kathryn Mitchell and Kelsey-Lee Roberts currently own the three biggest throws in the world this year.
Mickle and Mitchell both have their eyes on Louise Currey’s 14-year-old national record of 66.80m.
“I just want to get that mark no matter what,” said Mickle, who set her PB of 66.60m in last year’s world championships final in Moscow.
“My body is in good shape, I’m definitely not excluding the thought of that happening.”