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Olympics 2012: Sally Pearson beats out U.S. trio for hurdles gold

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Australia’s Sally Pearson celebrates after winning the women’s 100-meter hurdles final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012.(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

LONDON — Sally Pearson came to the rescue of Australia on Tuesday, getting an Olympic record in the 100-meter hurdles final and a gold medal for a nation that had been going through its worst Olympics in decades.

But as nothing had been easy for the country, Pearson was left to wait seemingly endless seconds after crossing the line before the big screen showed she had beaten defending champion Dawn Harper of the United States by just .02 hundreds of a second with a time of 12.35 seconds.

She let out a huge scream when the time flashed up and fell to the ground, crying, finally getting Olympic gold after finishing second four years ago.

Pearson held off a trio of American challengers. Behind Harper, Kellie Wells took bronze in 12.48. Lolo Jones, who stumbled out the medals when gold was just about hers in Beijing four years ago, was again left without an Olympic medal, finishing fourth.

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