19 July 2011
World and European heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis will compete in no less than five individual disciplines at the forthcoming Aviva UK Trials and Championships as she steps up preparations for the defence of her World title later this summer.
While the 25-year-old will contest the high jump and 100m hurdles – the disciplines she won back in2009 when she last competed at the Trials – she will also line up in the long jump, shot put and javelin.
Ennis’ first national title was the hurdles in 2007, but this year she must contend with Tiffany Ofili-Porter, who only two months ago broke the 15-year-old British record with a season's best 12.77secs.
The City of Sheffield athlete has already won the Gotzis Hypo meeting this summer and admits a good performance at Birmingham Alexander Stadium on 29-31 July could set her on her way to World Championships glory in Daegu next month.
She said: “The World Championships are really important, I think a lot of the public are thinking only of 2012 at this stage, but this comes first for us athletes and it’s really important that we take it one meet at a time. Of course I’ll be hoping for a good result, it’s only one year to go until 2012 so I want to go out to Daegu and come back feeling pleased with my performance and with confidence for future competitions.
“It’s great to be competing in a spread of events in Birmingham and it’s important that I can continue to compete in this way as we head towards the upcoming major championships. I’m feeling really happy and confident in myself, I feel fit and healthy and that’s really key at this time of year.
“Obviously I feel a certain amount of pressure, or at least I’m aware of it being around, but I try to ignore that, think about my own competition and that’s it. The past few major championships I’ve done well and I just want to continue what I’m doing, which is working, and hopefully get some good results.”
Ennis is ranked British number one in the high jump, but has her work cut out in the long jump, javelin and shot put as she goes head-to-head with individual discipline athletes.
Of particular interest will be her battle with Shara Proctor in the long jump, while it will be considered a strong result should she throw over 14m in the shot put and challenge her personal best of 46.71m in the javelin.
Ennis admits she is expecting raucous support from the athletics-savvy Birmingham crowd and says she is desperate to compete for the first time in the newly-renovated Birmingham Alexander Stadium.
“I’m really happy to be competing in Birmingham again, I haven’t been there since the stadium has been extended but I know that the crowd will be amazing and really get behind the athletes competing. The interest in athletics is definitely growing in this country with the Games being only a year away and it’s fantastic to get that extra support.”
The Aviva UK Trials and Championships will be held at Alexander Stadium from 29-31 July. For tickets or more information go to uka.org.uk/aviva-series or phone 08000 556 056