JESSICA Ennis has been warned she can’t afford to get a single event wrong if she is to win heptathlon gold at London 2012.
The warning comes from triple jump world record holder Jonathan Edwards, now a TV presenter, who was disappointed with Ennis’ long jump performance at the Olympic trials in Birmingham.
VIDEO: But Jess says she’s feeling in great shape and the Aviva Trials gave her a taste of London - press the play button to watch our video report.
Despite impressing with victories in the high jump and 100m hurdles at the trials, beating British record holder Tiffany Porter in the latter, the 26-year-old produced a worrying performance in the long jump event which has proved her wrongdoing in the past.
The Sheffield star lost her World Indoor Championships pentathlon crown to Ukraine’s Nataliya Dobrynska in March owing to a poor long jump. She also lost her outdoor world crown to Tatyana Chernova last year. And Edwards insists there can be no room for error if Ennis is to take Olympic gold.
“What happened at the World Indoor Championships is exactly the issue for Jess - and how she jumped at the trials in Birmingham,” said Edwards, speaking as he launched Lloyds TSB’s National School Sport Week in London.
“At the world indoors she lost it on the long jump and she can’t afford to have a poor event in London. Somebody is going to go through London and get every event nailed and Jess needs to be the one to do that.”
In Birmingham, just six weeks before she starts her Olympic campaign, Ennis fouled twice and ran through three times in the long jump.
Edwards added: “She wasn’t confident with her run-up, she had two fouls then she got a jump in and then she had three run-throughs after that.
“So in a competition of six events she had one jump, which doesn’t give you the confidence that you can go out and nail it when it matters in 32 days’ time, when she needs to jump 6.50 metres really.
“If she jumps 6.10m she gives a lot of points away. She can’t afford a weak event. But the high jump was better than it has been and the hurdles was brilliant.”
n Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week took place from 25-29 June 2012 and is Britain’s biggest school sport event with more than four million pupils staging their own Games this year. Find out more at lloydstsb.com/london2012