Lolo Jones: Sally Pearson Loss Opens Door for U.S. Hurdler

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJuly 17, 2012

EUGENE, OR - JUNE 23:  (L-R) Michelle Perry and Lolo Jones compete in the women's 100 meter hurdles semi-final during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 23, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

Lolo Jones might squeeze into medal contention at the 2012 Olympics after World Champion Sally Pearson lost for the first time in almost a year.

After falling during warmups, Pearson required medical attention, which hurt her during the race and could carry over into the Games.

Heading into the Summer Olympics, Pearson was the clear favorite to win the gold medal after taking home a silver at the Beijing Games. However, this loss opens the door for dark horses, including Jones.

Pearson lost her first race in 10 months at the London Diamond League meet, losing to American champion Kellie Wells by a mere 0.02 seconds. Her time of 12.59 was nowhere close to her normal brilliant self, as she was almost two-tenths of a second slower than her season-best of 12.40, and personal record of 12.28.

In fact, her time was slow enough that American sweetheart Lolo Jones could catch the reigning World Champion.

Jones has run as fast as a 12.74 this year, but she can do much better. If she can knock off another 0.15 seconds in London she could leave with a medal around her neck.

In order to shock the world and complete her comeback story after falling on the seventh hurdle in Beijing, Jones must improve on her time of 12.86 at the U.S. Olympic trials.

However, that should not be a problem for her. Jones did not run her best race at trials, and she should improve in London.

What could be the key for Jones is how she runs in unfavorable conditions. We could see cold, rainy conditions during the Games, which could be the decisive factor in who medals.

If Jones can overcome the natural elements presented on race day and a few of her opponents cannot, she could very easily win a medal.

While Pearson's loss in no way makes Jones a favorite to medal, it does give her hope. Anything can happen on race day, and Jones just needs to focus on finishing in the top three.