Kendra Harrison returned to the London track where she broke the world record a year ago to breeze impressively into the semi-finals of the 100 metres hurdles at the World Athletics Championships on Friday.
Australian Pearson has endured a frustrating two years, missing the 2015 championships in Beijing and the Olympics last year due to serious injuries.
After leading home another Olympic champion, the 2008 victor American Dawn Harper Nelson, who also qualified for Friday evening's semi-finals in 12.88, Pearson reflected on her resurgent form after being unable to defend her Olympic title in Rio through injury. Lipsey took third in her heat, crossing in 1:59.35, but that was good enough to be one of two time qualifiers for the final, which is set for 12:10 p.m. Harrison, who was the 1/6 on favourite for the title and had not been beaten in a race since the US Olympic trials previous year, at least made it unlike Jamaica's defending champion Danielle Williams who flopped to finish fifth in her semi-final.
But, like everyone else, the woman Harrison will be chasing in the final on Saturday (early Sunday AEST) will be Pearson.
The 24-year-old Williams hit the first hurdle in her semifinal heat and never recovered.
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"That's just showing respect to my competitors because I'm running against the world record holder and you can't disregard that at all".
"I'm excited for the final, it's my first one, and I'm ready to come out here and get the job done".
Harrison's problems started as she hit the first hurdle and dropped to seventh and it was only her determination and class that saw her get back into contention to fight her way back to third and just make the final.
"I had to tell myself not to panic because I've done the training, I've run the world record in this stadium so I was capable of making up for the error".