Leap of faith for Jess

Jessica Ennis during the Aviva Trails and Championships at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 23, 2012. See PA story ATHLETICS Birmingham. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.
Jessica Ennis during the Aviva Trails and Championships at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 23, 2012. See PA story ATHLETICS Birmingham. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

Jess Ennis is ready to bring about a leap of faith after suffering an error-strewn performance at the UK Olympic Trials in Birmingham.

Sheffield’s supreme heptathlete had impressive victories in the high jump and 100m hurdles on the opening day at the Alexander Stadium but then encountered a totally different scenario in the long jump 24 hours later.

Jess fouled three times and ran through twice as she struggled with her run up which left her with only one clear jump of 6.27 metres that resulted in a sixth place finish.

It was a world away from her best of the year effort and personal best of 6.51 metres when she broke the British heptathlon record in Gotzis last month.

On her last long jump performance in Bedford earlier this month, she fouled out four times but the 26-year-old was quick to put things into perspective.

“I don’t think it’s a major worry,” she said. “Obviously I would have loved to have competed better but it’s just another competition to show what I need to work on.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with my run up. It was just not there; the rhythm was not right.

“It needs changing a bit because I’m not comfortable. I don’t know if I’m running quicker or a bit stronger but the runway’s not suiting me at the moment.

“Generally when I jump I’m normally behind the board; I take off a lot behind the board. The last few competitions I’ve done a lot of no jumps which I don’t normally do.

“I think it’s definitely to do with my rhythm and the way I’m attacking the board. We’ve just got to go away and work on it a bit.”

Jess, who will start favourite for the heptathlon in London on August 3, will compete in the long jump and javelin at Loughborough on July 7.

Meanwhile Sheffield’s Mukhtar Mohammed faces an anxious few days as he attempts to make the Olympic Games ‘A’ grade time in the 800 metres.

He finished second in the trials in a time of 1 min 47.52 seconds which was well below the qualifying mark of 1.45.90. However he has run 1.45.90 and will now attempt to make the grade at the European Championships which are currently taking place in Helsinki.

It’s a similar story for Hatti Archer (nee Dean) who also took the runners-up spot in the strength-sapping 3,000 metres steeplechase - her first race of the season after problems with a hip injury.

Her time of 10.02.35 compared with the A standard of 9.43 but she could gain selection for London on the basis of her A standard from last year.

City of Sheffield’s Lee Doran retained his javelin title with a personal best therow of 79.72 metres and he will also get the chance to chase the ‘A’ distance of 82m in Finland.

Luke Cutts, Dearne AC and City of Sheffield, was a disappointing fifth in the pole vault with a height of 5.20m.