30 July 2010
The highly anticipated Heptathlon lived up to expectations as it began on the fourth day of competition at the European Championships in Barcelona, with Jessica Ennis leading the event after two events.
World Champion Ennis (Coach: Toni Miniciello) returned to international competition, her first GB&NI vest since her World Indoor title in March, to rapturous applause from the crowd. She rewarded their praise with a wins in both the 100m hurdles and high jump.
In the 100m hurdles, the first of seven disciplines to be completed over two days, the eager group suffered a false start but the stutter failed to deter Ennis who completed the race, on the second attempt, with smooth and accurate technique.
Breaking away from the group at 50m Ennis continued to power over the final obstacles and crossed the line ahead of the field in first with 12.95.
In her next event, the high jump, first time clearances at 1.74m and 1.80m- passing on 1.77m in between- boosted potential count-back safety. At 1.83m, 1.86m and 1.89m when others faltered, she again achieved first time with room to spare. Jumping alone on 1.92m she failed three times but won the competition and ended the morning session with a leading tally of 2225.
“Yes I’m happy with my start, I would’ve like to have got a bit more from both, but they’re solid performances and not far off of what I’m capable of doing and I’m in the lead so not a bad start.
“The hurdles and high jump are two of my stronger events so I think I’d be a bit worried if I wasn’t in first place after those two. Good start and I just want to keep it going through the day and tomorrow.
“It’s weird because heptathlon is at the end this time so I’ve just been sat really anxious waiting to start. I watched Phillips last night which was absolutely amazing so I just couldn’t wait to get started.”
Carl Myerscough, GB&NI’s lone thrower, began competition with a steady 19.34m effort in the shot put qualification. Although he followed up with a no throw, the US based athlete found his feet on the third and final attempt with a quality 19.81m effort, enough to qualify for the final.
“That was fine, but I don’t like leaving it until the final throw to qualify. It felt pretty good out there, a bit weird really cool but very muggy. You never need to win a qualifier, just get through so I’ll be looking for improvements in the final.”
Emily Freeman (Brian Hall) also qualified for the semi-final of the 200m with a confident third place finish and plenty left in the tank for the next round, which is scheduled for 6pm British time.
After a good start, the Wakefield Harrier executed the bend well but had to work for a good position on the home straight. She did just that and was able to taper down on line to save her legs.
“Probably my best run all year so I’m pleased as much as I can be, but I feel like I’m lacking some of the endurance I had last year over the last fifty metres. It’s getting better gradually each race but I feel like I’m running out of time.
“It doesn’t feel that comfortable as there’s not that next gear, but I’m more pleased than I have been with other runs.”
The evening session ,which starts on BBC 2 at 17:15 (UK time), hosts no less than eight finals for GB&NI athletes with the potential for numerous medals from the timetable which includes women’s pole vault, men’s 200m, men’s 110m hurdles, women’s 3000m sc, men’s 400m, men’s and women’s 400m hurdles, women’s 800m and men’s 1500m.