Her hurdling return was more bruising than she hoped it would be, but world champion Sally Pearson is confident she will be in peak form by April’s Commonwealth Games.
Pearson won the 100m hurdles at the Perth Track Classic on Saturday night with a time of 12.73.
The 31-year-old, who boasts a personal best of 12.28, was initially hoping for a time of 12.50 in her first race of the year.
But those plans went out the window when she clipped the first hurdle.
Pearson went on to hit two more hurdles, but still secured an easy victory.
The speedy Australian produced one of the most remarkable comeback stories in 2017 when she overcame two years of injuries to win the World Championships in London.
Pearson will have the chance to win her third straight Commonwealth Games gold when she competes on the Gold Coast in April.
The London 2012 Olympic gold medallist is confident she will be in peak shape by then, despite her rusty performance in Perth.
“Racing is so different to training,” Pearson said.
“As I can see (in my race on Saturday), I have a lot of work to do I guess in my technique to make sure the rust is definitely worn off by the Commonwealth Games.
“It’s looking good. It’s just under three months away.
“It doesn’t seem that far away, but that short amount of time, you can do so much work.
“For me, it’s about competing now. Getting my competition sharpness back. This is a faster start than what I came out with last year, so I’m happy.”
Pearson has set her sights on running close to her personal best at some point in 2018.
And if everything goes to plan, it could come at the Commonwealth Games.
“I guess being one of the favourites for the competition on the Gold Coast can be a bit more stressful,” Pearson said.
“But if I can just stay focused and do my usual thing, then it should be good.”
Tasmanian sprint star Jack Hale lit up the track on Saturday night with a sizzling 10.10 in the men’s 100m sprint.
Unfortunately for him, it was achieved with an illegal tail wind of 2.1, meaning it doesn’t count as an A-qualifier.
Nevertheless, Hale was happy with his performance, and has his sights set on producing more strong displays in the coming weeks.