Ennis-Hill out of Birmingham event


Published: Friday 5th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Jessica Ennis-Hill has withdrawn from Sunday’s Birmingham Grand Prix as she bides her time before a possible World Championship bid later this year.

Ennis-Hill made a successful return to action at the Hypo Meeting in Gotzis last weekend in her first heptathlon since winning Olympic gold at London 2012.

The Sheffield star finished fourth and achieved the Olympic qualifying standard but admitted her exertions came at a price.

And after discussions with her coach Toni Minichiello the 29-year-old made the decision not to rush back into a top-level schedule.

Ennis-Hill said: “Having competed in my first full heptathlon in three years, both Toni and I feel that my body held up well in Gotzis and we are delighted with how I did, but I feel competing seven days later is going to be too soon.

“I have missed a volume of training over the past few months, since having my baby, due to problems with my Achilles and there is still a lot of work to do.

“So we have made the decision for me to take the usual week off post a heptathlon to recover and then to get back into solid training.”

London silver medallist Christine Ohuruogu has also withdrawn as a precautionary measure due to a slight hip injury.

Rising British sprint star Dina Asher-Smith is relishing the prospect of lining up against four-time Olympic champion Allyson Felix on a track she considers to be a second home.

The Kent 19-year-old will aim to continue her recent fine form when she competes in the 200m against one of the athletes she admits most inspires her to strive for the top.

Asher-Smith said: “I’ve got such a great opportunity to race here which you don’t get very often so I need to grab it.

“Any female sprinter wants to be like Allyson Felix – she is an absolutely amazing athlete and young people do look up to her.

“I’ve been racing at the Alexander Stadium since I was 13 so I have many good memories. It is like a second track home for me.

“I’m really excited about performing in front of the home crowd on Sunday.”

Smith’s superb season so far saw her win the European Indoor 60m title before breaking the British 100m record with a time of 11.02 in Holland last month.

Richard Kilty will face stiff opposition in the men’s 100m from compatriots Adam Gemili and Chijindu Ujah as well as veteran Kim Collins.

Like Asher-Smith, Kilty enters the event in top form having won European Indoor 60m gold in Prague before recording a new 100m personal best of 10.09 in Italy last month.

Kilty said: “I’m really looking forward to some world class performances, we’ve got numerous world and Olympic champions competing.

“My outdoor season has got off to a good start. I ran a personal best of 10.09 so it’s looking pretty positive at the moment. I hope to go out there at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix and if conditions are good to run a fast time. Another personal best would be nice.”

Published: Friday 5th June 2015 by The News Editor

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