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Pearson leave European meets to train at home for Rio

Reigning Olympic hurdles champion Sally Pearson said Monday she has pulled out of her last scheduled race in Europe to return home and step up training for the Rio Olympics.

Pearson, 29, who won 100 metres hurdles gold at London in 2012, was due to compete at the Stockholm Diamond League meet on Thursday.

But Pearson and her coach have decided she is better off going back into intensive fitness work for six weeks ahead of the Rio Games in August.

After three races in Europe in which Pearson has trailed in after the pacesetting Americans, they concluded it was fitness that was letting her down rather than her confidence or hurdling technique.

“I’m not injured! I’m healthy and happy!” Pearson tweeted Monday.

“I came home to get another week of training in for my preps for Rio! I hope this clears things up!”

The Australian newspaper said her fitness concerns were not a consequence of the race fall that shattered her wrist last June and ruled her out of competition for the rest of the year.

But it was more because of an Achilles tendon problem she developed earlier this year.

Pearson broke two bones and dislocated her wrist at a Rome Diamond League meeting last June forcing her to miss training.

In April, after she was able to recommence hurdling, Pearson admitted the Achilles pain “was actually a bigger issue than the wrist”.

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