Jessica Ennis believes a second impressive 60metre hurdles victory over double world indoor champion Lolo Jones gives her plenty of reasons to be positive for the coming season.
The world and European heptathlon champion clocked a season’s best 7.97seconds in this week’s Aviva International Match at Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall to beat her American rival, who trailed home fourth after clattering the third hurdle.
The time was just two hundredths of a second off the British record Ennis set at last year’s event, when she also claimed the scalp of Jones.
The 25-year-old also edged out one of Britain’s latest recruits from overseas, Tiffany Ofili, who came home second in 8.04secs.
Ofili, who hails from Michigan but qualifies for Britain through her mother, has a quicker personal best than Ennis both indoors and out but could not live with her on this occasion.
And, with the European Indoor Championships coming up in Paris in March and the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, on the horizon in August, the performance bodes well.
“I always come into it just wanting a good quality race and to push my time,” said Ennis.
“I thought it was a bit flukey last year. But it’s given me loads of confidence, coming here and running that sort of time and beating people of that calibre.
“I’ve done three races now (this season) and each time I’ve got quicker and I think if I’m running under eight (seconds) that’s really good and hopefully I can produce that in the summer.”
The Sheffield athlete admits, though, her long jump needs work, despite being satisfied with a leap of 6.38metres with her last attempt to place third.
The event is one she has struggled with since the serious ankle injury which ruled her out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics forced her to change take-off legs.
“It’s just one of those events, like with the shot putt, that’s taken so long and then eventually kind of clicks,” she said.
“Although I was pleased with jumping 6.51m last year (her outdoor personal best), I still feel there’s so much more to come.
“I’ll just go away a put a bit more time into it and hope that it improves.”