Ennis-Hill unsure over worlds
Jessica Ennis-Hill admitted her World Championship hopes were in the balance after enduring a frustrating return to the Olympic Stadium.
The London 2012 heptathlon champion was back at the scene of last summer’s gold medal triumph, but this time there was rather less for her to cheer about.
The 26-year-old, who is on her way back from an Achilles tendon injury which has played havoc with her season, followed a steady if unspectacular 100 metres hurdles run with a poor long jump at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.
She said yesterday this was the acid test of her fitness, and although she came through both events unscathed, she could now be fighting a losing battle to be fit for the World Championships. The Moscow showpiece is just two weeks away.
“It’s frustrating, because I always want to be at my best and I’m obviously not at my best at the moment,” she said.
“I’m so glad I competed and got to experience this crowd again, but I’m definitely not where I’d like to be.”
The golden girl of British sport was greeted by a huge roar when she came up on the big screen, with the capacity crowd raising the decibel level even higher for her actual introduction.
But while Mo Farah, her fellow London 2012 ’Super Saturday’ champion, was able to bring those memories flooding back with a resounding 3,000m success, Ennis-Hill is in a much tougher position.
She said she had been “a bit apprehensive” about the injury, but it was “definitely getting better”.
She accepted, though, that she faced a real dilemma over whether to go to the World Championships.
“It’s that difficult decision of whether I am ready enough to go and contend,” she said.
“And I hate making the decision as well. I think I am going to have to sit down with my coach (Toni Minichiello) and have a chat and see what’s best.”
Ennis-Hill clocked 13.08 seconds in her first hurdles race since London 2012 to finish fourth, more than half a second down on her personal best.
That was hardly a surprise given she only started hurdling again in training last week.
But her furthest effort in the long jump of 6.16m, which put her eighth and last, was down on the 6.26m she recorded on her comeback in Loughborough on Tuesday.
All six of her long jump marks were between 6.00m and 6.16m.
“I am where I am normally at the beginning of the season,” she said.
“Normally when I start my season I would probably run a low 13 or a high 12.9 or something. Unfortunately I need to be further down the road really.
“I’ve done all the winter work and just picked up this injury at the wrong time.
“I need to step back and have a real think about it all. And I need to see how it is tomorrow, that’s going to be a big thing.”
Ennis-Hill is now set to race again next weekend to further assess her readiness for Moscow, saying she had “pencilled in” a UK Women’s League meeting on Saturday.
Her coach Toni Minichiello told the BBC: “There’s a need for another race before Moscow.”
Even though Ennis-Hill wants to make a decision “sooner rather than later”, she said Minichiello “would want to leave it until the last minute”.
The heptathlon at the World Championship takes place over August 12 and 13.
Elsewhere, Christine Ohuruogu, the Olympic 400m silver medallist, made a winning return to the stadium with a season’s best 50.00secs, the fastest she has ever run outside a major championships.
William Sharman showed he was in the form of his life with a personal best 13.26s to finish a close second to world number one David Oliver in the 110m hurdles.
Chris Tomlinson failed to boost his chances of long jump selection ahead of Greg Rutherford for the World Championship as he could only manage a best of 7.99m for fifth place.
Rutherford is currently out injured, with only one of the two able to make the team.
Anyika Onuora continued an impressive meet for the hosts’ women sprinters with a personal best 22.79s for fourth in the 200m.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who will do the heptathlon in Moscow, won the long jump with 6.46m.
Elsewhere, Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie attempted a world record 6.16m in the pole vault, but Sergey Bubka’s 6.14m mark remained intact.