Jessica Ennis-Hill’s coach Toni Minichiello believes it is unfair to judge the heptathlete by her London 2012 prime and has challenged her to hit ‘PP PBs’: post-pregnancy personal bests, in the Rio Olympics.
Sheffield’s Ennis-Hill claimed gold on ‘Super Saturday’ four years ago, setting a new British record of 6,995 points, and went on to have her first child in July 2014.
Having returned to competition she won world championship gold in Beijing last year but just two women in history have retained Olympic titles after giving birth, as Ennis-Hill is aiming to in Brazil, and it has never been done in a multi-discipline event.
Minichiello acknowledges that Ennis-Hill is a different competitor now and manages expectation accordingly.
“This is an athlete who’s older, she’s now 30 and not 26 as she was in London, and she’s now a mum and both of those factors have to be taken into consideration,” he said.
“You’re gonna have to do a bit less training because of your age and because of childcare duties, so you have to make the best use of your time.
“I speak of it as ‘PP PBs’, which is ‘post-pregnancy personal bests’. I’m not trying to go back and look at Jess in her prime, training 30 hours a week, most days twice a day. We just can’t do that any more. I made a conscious decision to wipe the slate clean.”