East St. Louis Native Dawn Harper Takes Silver In Hurdles

Dawn Harper, Wallace Spearmon

(left) Dawn Harper with fellow Olympian Shaun White in London; (right) Wallace Spearmon at Opening Ceremonies. (Credit: Dawn Harper/Wallace Spearmon)

Featured & Trending:

Latest News Headlines:

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

Sports Fan Insider

Keep up with your favorite teams and athletes with daily updates.
Sign Up

UPDATED: 8/7/12 3:05 p.m.

LONDON (CBS) — East Saint Louis native Dawn Harper took the Olympic silver medal in the women’s 100-meter hurdles on Tuesday, missing out on defending her title by .02 of a second.

Australian Sally Pearson (12.35 seconds, Olympic record) edged Harper (personal best 12.37 seconds) at the finish for the gold. Both athletes had to wait a few minutes before learning the official results. American Kellie Wells took the bronze.

Harper won the gold in the 100-meter hurdles in Beijing four years ago.

“Relax. Think about yourself. Stay focused,” Harper told herself ahead of Tuesday’s competition. “You know what you want to come out and do. I really feel the maturity. I can’t believe that I have this sense of peace right now. It’s crazy.” Harper spoke to the Associated Press.

Also on Tuesday, Chicago-native Wallace Spearmon competes in the first round of the Men’s 200-meter, which also features world-record holder Usain Bolt from Jamaica. Bolt, who has been dubbed “World’s Fastest Man,” won the gold in the 200-meter in 2008. Spearmon finished third in Beijing but was disqualified for stepping out of his lane. Christophe Lemaitre of France is another competitor in the 200-meter. Jamaica’s Yohan Blake is also a favorite.

Spearmon, along with Bolt, qualified for the semifinals during prelims on Tuesday morning. The semifinal is Wednesday and the final is Friday.

Other local athletes in action:

The U-S Women’s Soccer Team, including Crystal Lake-native Amy LePeilbet, will play Japan on Thursday for the gold medal after a 4-3 overtime victory over Canada in the Olympic semifinals Monday. The U-S has won the last two Olympic gold medals in Women’s Soccer.

Wheaton-native Sean Rooney and the U-S Men’s Volleyball Team will play Italy on Wednesday in a quarterfinal match.