In a major blow to Commonwealth Games organisers, Australia hero Sally Pearson is expected to announce she will not compete at this year's event.
SO LONG SALLY: The morning after a prominent role in the opening ceremonies, world and former Olympic champion hurdler Pearson announced her withdrawal from the athletics competition because a long-standing Achilles injury had flared in training this week.
The 31-year-old Pearson said she had no choice but to withdraw from the 100-meter hurdles and the 4-x100 relay, take some rest and start thinking about the 2019 world championships and 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
She the last person to carry the Queen's Baton before it was passed to Prince Charles during the Opening Ceremony at the Carrara Stadium last night.
"This has been an ongoing issue for a couple of years now and it is just unfortunate the timing was now", said Pearson, who has always been the public face of her home-town Games. "Going through the numb phase first then the crying phase and then speaking to (coaches and medical experts) and double- and triple-checking it was the right decision".
Australia celebrate winning gold in the Men's 4000m Team Pursuit Final during the Track Cycling on day one of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
"I went out there last night into the opening ceremony and heard the roar for Australia and not being able to feel that for myself in my individual events is very disappointing".
But the 2012 Olympic butterfly gold medallist, who is attempting to become the most decorated athlete in Games history, said he would rather finish second than win a race that was missing its strongest swimmer.
Pearson has been battling the Achilles problem since late February, although she did run a leg of a 4x100m relay last week in Brisbane. "I really wanted to come into the competition to retain both my titles and to have that opportunity taken away in the first heat is heartbreaking". In 2015 she tore her calf during a race at the Rome Diamond League which caused her to crash to the track and shatter her wrist. I had a big role to play.
"My coach said 'The atmosphere out there is electric, go out, soak it up.' I think that is what we've done".