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Hurdles Champ Sally Pearson's Shock Retirement Announcement

She jumped before she was pushed. As you'd expect a hurdler to do.

And just like that, athletics legend Sally Pearson has stepped away from her sport, announcing she will not push on to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Pearson won an Olympic gold medal and two World Championship golds in her pet event, the 100m hurdles, over the course of her decorated career. She was without question the greatest Australian track athlete of the century since Cathy Freeman.

Pearson was also a popular athlete. In her early days, she was raw, and Australia loved her for that. Take a look at the greatest post-event interview you'll ever see. This video is grainy as heck, but do yourself a favour and watch her reaction after winning a surprise silver medal in Beijing.

As Pearson matured and went on to win gold at London four years later, she remained a much-loved figure.

The 32-year-old Gold Coaster issued a statement on Instagram this morning.

Sally Pearson of Australia competes during the Women's 4x100m Relay Final on day two of the IAAF World Relays at Nissan Stadium on May 12, 2019 . Photo: Getty

"It's been a long 16 years but also a fun and exciting 16 years. It has come to the point where I believe my body won't be able to cope with the demands and the intensity of training and competition for me to be at the best that I believe that I think I should be to be able to bring home more world championships, more Olympic gold medals for you all."

"As you know, I'm a very competitive athlete. I'm a perfectionist as well. And I don't think I'll be able to deliver at that high demand that I demand of myself."

"I would like to thank my family and friends, I'd also like to thank my sponsors, Adidas in particular who have been there from the very beginning, in particular. They've been very supportive of my career.

Sally Pearson competes in the heats of the Women's 100m hurdle event during the Australian Athletics Championships & Nomination Trials in 2018. Photo: Getty

"And lastly I'd like to thank you guys, the fans. You have been there from the very beginning also, supporting me through the highs and lows of elite sport... and hopefully through the next phase of my life and career.

"Thank you for your continued support, and... see you 'round!"