CREAM rises to the top . . .
Heavy rain evened up the field when women's world hurdles champion, Australia's Sally Pearson, got set on her mark to race her Olympic event yesterday. Make no mistake about it.
The world's best sprinters, the Afro-Americans, came through chasing the Australian champ.
But Pearson grabbed the early lead and, when it mattered most, thrust out her chest at the right moment, to win by .02 seconds from Beijing Olympic gold medallist Dawn Harper.
A chest was all it was.
Amazingly in the shocking conditions, Pearson still managed to record a new Olympic record time of 12.35sec — her best this season — while the brave Harper's time was her personal best and the fastest losing time ever.
Bronze medallist Kelli Wells recorded another personal best (12.48).
But it was "our Sal" who smiled the widest.
A golden smile.
And millions back home smiled right along with her.
SPRINT cycling sensation Anna Meares flexed her own muscles for women's sport soon after Pearson hurdled her way to fame. The multi-world and Olympic track sprint champ overcame great British rival Victoria Pendleton in straight finals heats. It added to the bronze she picked up in pairing with our own Kaarle McCulloch in the team sprint.
SURROUNDED by water, Australians have prided themselves on their swimming success over the years.
Our failure to win the golds expected in the pool in London now has a review set up to look at what went wrong. The inquiry, however, could look at what went right in another pool of water, where Australia's small team of sailors have dominated.
First, Tom Slingsby from Gosford won Australia's first individual gold medal in the Laser competition, then the pairing of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen secured an unassailable lead in the 49er skiff class.
Australia also has high hopes of further medals with the women's match racing team, skippered by Drummoyne-based Olivia Price, unbeaten in racing so far, and the men's 470 pairing of Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page.
USAIN Bolt gave his smaller rivals a lesson in psychology, and another lesson on the track this week.
The super-tall sprinter let everyone think he was troubled by injury when beaten in the Jamaican athletics trials.
In less time than you've taken to read this section — exactly 9.63sec — he showed that everything was in the very BEST shape.
WITH just four rounds to go, the NRL final eight is no clearer . . .
The Bulldogs remain favourites ahead of the Rabbitohs and Storm. And with the Sea Eagles, Sharks, Cowboys and Broncos, these clubs should fill positions 1-7. But team No.8, Wests Tigers, do have the Titans, Knights, Raiders and Dragons all breathing down their neck, two points behind. Only the Bulldogs and Rabbitohs are sure of top four.