Ennis-Hill delays Beijing decision

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Published: Saturday 4th July 2015 by The News Editor

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Jessica Ennis-Hill revealed she would make a late call on whether to compete at the World Championships in Beijing in August after proving her speed is returning with a season’s best over the 100 metres hurdles at the Sainsbury’s British Championships in Birmingham on Saturday.

The Olympic heptathlon champion clocked 13.10 seconds to finish third at the Alexander Stadium, behind American-born sisters Tiffany Porter and Cindy Ofili.

It was the Sheffield athlete’s first competition since her successful heptathlon return at the end of May and offered plenty of reason for optimism.

The 29-year-old’s personal best over the barriers is 12.54secs, but her previous two outings this year had yielded times of 13.14s and 13.24, so this was another step forward.

Ennis-Hill said she had had very few Achilles problems since securing Olympic qualification in Gotzis, having been hampered by the issue since returning this season from the birth of her first child.

“I’ve been able to do some good training, so I just feel like I’ve got a bit more speed now and I’m a bit stronger towards the end of the race,” she said.

“The training I have done since Gotzis has definitely made a difference. That cadence is there too, it’s a bit better between the hurdles.”

Ennis-Hill said she felt “really good” after Gotzis, having only missed “a couple” of training sessions through illness.

She added: “My Achilles were really good.

“After competing for two days I did think they’d flare up quite a bit, but they were good and I’ve been able to do some good training. They did niggle a little bit but were manageable, so I’ve been able to get through four good weeks of training.

“That speed endurance is coming back. In my hurdle race in Gotzis I just felt like I didn’t have that gear, halfway through the race I had nothing else to give, whereas today I feel like I’ve got a bit more.

“I’m in a better place. I’m getting there and I’m happy.”

The Great Britain team for the World Championships will be selected on July 27, the Monday following the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.

Asked if she had made up her mind on Beijing, Ennis-Hill said: ” No, not yet. I think it’s going to be quite last minute, probably after the Anniversary Games, because I want to see what my hurdles are.

“I want to run under 13 seconds and my 200m needs to be low 23s really. If I’m in that kind of shape hopefully I can contend for a medal and I can go.

“I need to do two or three events (at the Anniversary Games) to see if I’m really ready and then I can make a decision and move on for the rest of the season or call it a day.”

The Birmingham crowd was denied a showdown between Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson, though, as the Liverpool athlete pulled out of the final due to cramp.

With the pair having raced in different heats earlier in the day, the wait for the two double-barrelled multi-eventers to go head to head goes on. They last faced off in the long jump at the Anniversary Games two years ago.

Johnson-Thompson, who was forced out of the heptathlon in Gotzis with a knee complaint, is due to compete in the long jump on Sunday, while Ennis-Hill goes in the javelin.

“Hopefully she (Johnson-Thompson) will get right for the Worlds and hopefully we’ll both be there, fingers crossed,” Ennis-Hill said.

Published: Saturday 4th July 2015 by The News Editor

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