AUGUST 6, TUESDAY
Australia’s Olympic hurdles gold medallist Sally Pearson has announced her retirement, less than a year out from the 2020 Tokyo Games.
In recent years the 32-year-old has battled persistent injury problems in recent years.
In a statement, Pearson said she had battled a “series of leg injuries” while preparing for next month’s world championships in Qatar.
“I have prided myself on always being on the start line ready to win. I no longer believe I can achieve this,” she said.
“It is therefore with much regret that I have come to the conclusion that it is time to retire from this phase of my life and move on to the next.”
Pearson won gold in the 100 metre hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics, after winning silver four years earlier in Beijing.
She also won two Commonwealth Games gold medals, and two world championship titles.
Australian Olympic Committee chief executive Matt Carrol paid tribute to Pearson after her announcement, congratulating her on a “wonderful career”.
“Sally has set standard that make her a role model for all aspiring athletes. She did not accept compromises or settle for half-measures,” he said in a statement.
“These qualities made her an Olympic champion as a hurdler and an Australian champion as a hurdler and a sprinter.
“Ultimately, those qualities also drove her to a decision to retire.”
Darren Gocher, Athletics Australia chief executive said Pearson had been “a great ambassador for the sport”.
“This is the start of a new chapter in Sally’s life and we wish her all the best,” he said.
More than 20 climate activists have been arrested during planned protests that are causing major traffic disruptions in Brisbane’s CBD.
There was a heavy police presence, including mounted police, is on the scene monitoring hundreds of protesters who have converged on William Street.
A number of activists who were blocking traffic were forcibly removed by police and dragged from the road.
“We declare it our duty to act on behalf of our children…we declare ourselves in rebellion against our government,” one protester chanted to the crowd.
A spokesperson from Extinction Rebellion, Tom Howell told the ABC it was a citizen’s duty to rebel.
“We cannot be ignored,” he said.
“People are uncomfortable with disrupting other people’s lives but it is the best option we have left to get people talking about the climate emergency, to get the Government responding to it and to kind of make the economy pay attention to it because if people can’t go to work then the economy can suffer.
“Every other form of dissidence has failed.
“We’ve had our petitions, we’ve had marches, the Government is not representing the people,” he said.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner was heckled and interrupted by the activists when he tried to hold a press conference in the city this morning.
“I think you should you be ashamed of yourselves,” the Lord Mayor told members of Extinction Rebellion.
Protesters repeatedly shouted “shame on you” over the top of him, before the press conference was moved inside.
Today’s protest followed a number of other stunts about climate change and the Adani mine approval that disrupted Brisbane city traffic over the last two months.
United State President Donald Trump has condemned the weekend shootings in Texas and Ohio as barbaric crimes “against all humanity” and called for bipartisan cooperation to respond to an epidemic of gun violence.
He blamed mental illness and video games but made no mention of more limits on sales of firearms.
Mr Trump said he wants legislation providing “strong background checks” for gun users, but he provided scant details about his policy and has reneged on similar promises after previous mass shootings.
“We vow to act with urgent resolves,” Mr Trump said.
His response came two days after a muted response to the shootings, and included a solitary denunciation of white supremacy, which he has been reluctant to criticise.
“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Mr Trump said, adding that he had directed the FBI to examine steps to identify and address domestic terrorism.
“These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.”
Democrats quickly accused Mr Trump of hiding behind talk of mental health reform and the role of social media, instead of committing to laws aimed at curbing gun violence in the US.
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