Road to Rio 2016: Drive remains for Jessica Ennis-Hill to shine in ‘last’ Olympics

JESSICA ENNIS-HILL: The Sheffield athlete is determined to go out on a high at Rio Olympics.
JESSICA ENNIS-HILL: The Sheffield athlete is determined to go out on a high at Rio Olympics.
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Jessica Ennis-Hill remains confident she will be in good shape to defend her Olympic title despite only just returning to training following an Achilles injury.

The reigning Olympic and world heptathlon champion sustained the injury nearly two months ago and missed the indoor season.

She is still not sure when she will be able to return to full training but is hoping to complete a full summer programme, including taking part in the famous multi-event season opener in Gotzis at the end of May.

Ennis-Hill said “It’s definitely improving. I’m just easing back into training and taking everything really slowly.

“I’ve been plagued with Achilles injuries in recent years and it has been frustrating but it’s something I have to deal with and hope that myself and the team around me can make sure it’s right for the summer. The only positive is that I picked up this injury relatively early in the year so it’s given us a bit more time and flexibility to get it right.

“If it was a couple of months out from the Olympics it would have been a different story, but hopefully we can get it right for Rio.”

In dark moments, the 30-year-old only needs to think back to what she achieved against all odds last summer.

A year after giving birth to son Reggie, Ennis-Hill made a late decision to go to the World Championships and walked away with the gold medal.

“It definitely gave me confidence knowing I can do a relatively small amount of training and have setbacks and injuries but still come out and compete well,” she said.

“It’s definitely one of my proudest moments to have stepped away from my sport for that amount of time and come back and become world champion.

“Lots of things have changed since the last Olympics. Training’s very different and obviously my mindset’s very different but that drive and determination is very much there.

“I don’t have many years left competing so you have to make the most of these great opportunities. Fingers crossed I get to Rio, and that will be my last Olympics so I want to make it worthwhile.”