Pearson edges Harper in Olympic 100 hurdles final

Associated Press
Australia's Sally Pearson, center, leads in a women's 100-meter hurdles semifinal during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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Australia's Sally Pearson, center, leads in a women's 100-meter hurdles semifinal during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

LONDON (AP) — Sally Pearson provided a rare bright spot for Australia at the London Games, earning the country's fourth gold medal by edging defending champion Dawn Harper of the U.S. to win the 100-meter hurdles in an Olympic-record 12.35 seconds on Tuesday.

Under a steady rain, Pearson barely crossed the line ahead of Harper, who was clocked in 12.37. The U.S. also took the bronze, with Kellie Wells finishing in 12.48.

Lolo Jones, the favorite four years ago who fell at the ninth of 10 hurdles, was fourth Tuesday in 12.58.

It took several seconds for the scoreboard at Olympic Stadium to display the final results, with Pearson and Harper both staring and waiting. When Pearson's named appeared first, she let out a yell, then dropped to her knees and fell on her back.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

LONDON (AP) — Lolo Jones of the United States sneaked into the 100-meter hurdles medal race at the Olympics on Tuesday, taking the last qualifying spot in the semifinals with a time of 12.71 seconds.

Jones was favored to win the gold at the 2008 Games and was leading the final when she knocked into the ninth of 10 hurdles and fell to the track. Dawn Harper of the U.S. wound up winning — and she made it back to the final, winning her heat in 12.46.

The best semifinal time was the 12.39 by Australian world champion Sally Pearson. The Aussies have had a disappointing Olympics so far with only three gold medals.

Also reaching the final later Tuesday night was Kellie Wells of the U.S.

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