A month out from her Commonwealth Games title defence, Sally Pearson has suffered a rare 100m hurdles defeat in a slow time at a low-key meet in Belgium.
Having withdrawn from Diamond League meets in Rome and New York earlier this month due to hamstring soreness, Pearson was making a later than usual start to her northern hemisphere campaign at the international meet in Nivelles.
For the first time in several years, the Queenslander was unable to break the 13-second mark as she finished second in 13.19 seconds behind local athlete Anne Zagre (13.14).
“13.19 & second, u have 2 start somewhere,” tweeted the Olympic and world champion.
Pearson – who set her personal best of 12.28 in the 2011 world championships final in Daegu, South Korea – is only scheduled to compete in three more meets ahead of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Her next planned outing is the Paris round of the Diamond League on July 5.
Pearson has a busy Commonwealth Games schedule where she is slated to contest the 100m flat and hurdles and the 4x100m relay.
Glasgow-bound Alex Rowe was the standout Australian performer in Nivelles on Saturday night, winning the 800m in one minute 46.71 seconds.
Nick Hough was second in the 110m hurdles in 14.11 and Shannon McCann was fourth in the 100m hurdles behind Zagre and Pearson in 13.60.