Ennis-Hill sets return date in Manchester

Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis-Hill will make her long-awaited competitive return in the 100 metre hurdles at the Great CityGames in Manchester on May 9.

Jessica Ennis-Hill to return in May

The Olympic heptathlon champion will take part in her strongest event after a near two-year absence from competition due to the birth of son Reggie last summer.

Ennis-Hill did set a British record of 12.54 seconds for the 100m hurdles at London 2012 and although that has since been broken by Tiffany Porter, a run in her favoured event should prove a good guide for her readiness for a heptathlon return in Gotzis at the end of May.

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“I’m really looking forward to making my competitive return at the Great CityGames Manchester. The atmosphere is always amazing there,” said Ennis-Hill.

“Street athletics is a lot of fun, not only you are really close to the fans, but the energy around the Morrison’s Great Manchester Run weekend is fantastic, as the elite races and the mass participation run bring the city together in a celebration of running.”

The event in Austria will also see Katarina Johnson-Thompson in action, just weeks after she broke Ennis-Hill’s British pentathlon record at the European Indoor Championships.

Johnson-Thompson will also be competing in Manchester but will not go head-to-head with her more experienced rival as she takes part in the 200m hurdles and the long jump.

The 22-year-old has long been touted as the natural successor to Ennis-Hill and British Olympic Association chairman Sebastian Coe recently said how excited he was at the prospect of the two going up against each other.

The World Championships in Beijing in August will be the target after Gotzis with both women then likely to then head to Rio next year where Ennis-Hill will defend her Olympic crown.

And while much of the narrative will surround the rivalry around the pair, Johnson-Thompson admitted after her win in Prague that she still sees Ennis-Hill as more of a role model than an opponent.

“She’s the Olympic champion and she’s got the British record outdoors,” she said. “There’s a big difference between the heptathlon and pentathlon.

“Pentathlon is my strongest event. It suits me well with the two jumps and one throw and two running events, which I’m good at. Heptathlon is a completely different ball game.”

She added: “I’m in awe of any Olympic champion, for sure.

“She’s one of the people who inspired me to be an heptathlete and I’ve seen her do it from a young age.”