Ennis-Hill shines in her Rio preparations

Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Jessica Ennis-Hill.

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Jessica Ennis-Hill (City of Sheffield and Dearne) continued her Olympic preparations in style on the first day of the Northern Championships in Manchester on Saturday.

Conditions were far from ideal when she line up for the 100m hurdles, although it was before the deluge which delayed some events.

The track was wet and the wind was against the runners, but the Olympic champion gave a smooth performance winning with ease in 13.10, breaking a 36-year-old championship record held by Shirley Strong, Olympic silver medallist for the event in 1984.

Ennis-Hill followed with a win in the shot, throwing 14.02m.

By this time it was raining heavily, and athletes had to shelter under umbrellas between throws, and dry the shot on a towel. To throw over 14m in those conditions was impressive from the Sheffield athlete, who will be looking to defend her heptathlon title – which she won at London 2012 – when she heads to Rio.

There was a championship record for Leeds City’s George Armstrong in the junior Under-20 discus.

His 55.19m beat a record that had stood since 1992 by more than four and a half metres.

Ennis-Hill returned on the second day when she won her heat of the 200m in 23.42secs.

She opted not to do the final, but threw the javelin 45.02m to win her third title and round off a hugely successful weekend that will send a strong message to would-be challengers for her Olympic crown.

The second day saw a fine display of sprinting by Leeds City’s Connor Wood who won the Under-20 200m in a championship record of 21.08secs.

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