Jessica Ennis-Hill opens her campaign for the year tomorrow at the Loughborough International meeting.
The Sheffield star has withdrawn from next weekend’s international heptathlon in Gotzis, not quite being ready for a full heptathlon and having already achieved the Olympic qualifying mark. At Loughborough she does the javelin.
Formerly her Achilles heel, Ennis-Hill is now consistently throwing between 43 and 48 metres in the javelin.
She achieved a personal best of 47.49 when winning Olympic gold and has since improved to 48.33 at Loughborough. She is never going to be a top-class javelin thrower but she is now a solid performer in what is the weakest of her seven events and could even aspire to the 50-metre mark.
All eyes will be on her performance, not just to moniter her distance but with many hoping she comes through her first competition of the year injury free.
Ennis-Hill will not be the only City of Sheffield and Dearne athlete taking part in the Loughborough match.
Last week’s Yorkshire winners – Karla Drew and Daniel Gardiner – do the hurdles and long jump respectively for the England team, which will also include Joe Dunderdale in the javelin and Alan Toward in the discus).
Scott Lincoln (City of York), already in top form, does the shot putt and Alex Bell (Pudsey and Bramley) is in a top-class women’s 800m race.
There is also a British junior team taking part in the Loughborough match with European junior champion Adam Hague (City of Sheffield and Dearne) in the pole vault.
British junior record holder Hague is in impressive form and is targeting a place in the team for this year’s World Junior Championships.
Also in the junior team are Wakefield’s Abby Ward in the high jump, Millie Howard (Harrogate), who will compete in the 800m and Chelsea Walker (City of York) in the 400m hurdles.