Away from the glare of Olympic selection, Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis-Hill continues her preparation in a heptathlon at Ratingen, Germany this weekend.
She looked in good shape at the recent Northern Championships and will be looking for a score in the region of 6,500 points to put her on course for Rio 2016 (5-21 August.) The Olympic qualifying mark, which she already has, is 6,200. Her personal best from her Olympic victory is 6,955.
There will be keen interest in the high jump and long jump which she has not done competitively this year.
The South Yorkshire athlete is a former UK record holder for the high jump and it has always been a big points scorer for her, whereas the long jump has sometimes fallen short of expectation.
The UK Championships and Olympic trials start this evening at Birmingham. The first two athletes in each event gain automatic selection but only if they have achieved the qualifying standard at least twice within the qualifying period. Luke Cutts (City of Sheffield/Dearne) has done the standard of 5.70 in the indoor season and heads the UK rankings this year. A win in 5.70 would clinch his Rio place.
Lee Emanuel, a Sheffield middle distance runner, is based in America but returns for championships. He does the 1,500 and has clocked 3:36.29 this year, just 0.09 outside the standard. Sheffield based Louise Bloor, who has battled injury, is listed for the 100m, bidding for the Olympic relay squad.
Junior vaulter Adam Hague had entered for the senior championships but instead competes at a junior international meeting in Germany.
This week Hague was named in the initial selections for the World Junior Champs in Poland next month along with Chesterfield’s Alicia Barrett who is named in the 100m hurdles. Barrett competes against seniors in Birmingham in the 100 and 100 hurdles. Karla Drew (Sheffield) also runs.
Alicia’s sister Ella Barrett runs in the 400m.
International Mukhtar Mohammed (Sheffield RC) is in a strong 800m line up along with David Dempsey (Sheffield).
Sheffield have a strong representation in the discus with Alan Toward, Mark Plowman and Jamie Williamson.
Hallamshire’s Calli Thackery, home from her USA college, should be prominent in the 5000 metres where Rotherham’’s Sam Johnson is also running.
Other entries in Birmingham include Lee Thompson (Rotherham), 400m; Joe Dunderdale (Sheffield) in the javelin; Abigail Roberts (Sheffield) in the pole vault; Daniel Gardiner (Sheffield) in the long jump.
*The third round of the Youth Development League is on Sunday. Sheffield and Dearne head North East (Division 1) along with Forth Valley.
Doncaster are in fourth place. Their match is at York.
Middlesbrough top Division 2 from Hallamshire, Rotherham and Chesterfield. They are at Rotherham.