Sally Pearson will spearhead Australia’s quest to qualify a women’s 4x100m relay team at the looming world championships and next year’s Olympics.
Pearson is a confirmed entrant for the World Relays in Japan next month which serves as a crucial qualifying step for the showpiece athletics events.
The champion hurdler has been named in Australia’s seven-strong women’s 4x100m team for the IAAF World Relays on May 10-11.
The top-10 nations from the relay meet in Japan will gain automatic qualification for this year’s world championships in Doha starting September 28.
Should Australia qualify for the Doha championships, a top-eight place will earn direct qualification for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
Pearson returned to top-level competition after prolonged injury battles in the hurdles at the Australian championships in Sydney two weekends ago.
The dual 100m hurdles world champion and 2012 Olympic champion raced a heat in her pet event before withdrawing from the final, citing fatigue.
Australia will field teams at the World Relays in the men’s and women’s 4x100m, men’s and women’s 4x400m and two fresh events – a mixed hurdles relay and 2x400m relay.