I’m going for gold in Daegu says focused Jess

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Q: Medals not Personal Bests is obviously the priority at the World Championships although a combination of both would be ideal. Gold, of course is the colour?

Q: Medals not Personal Bests is obviously the priority at the World Championships although a combination of both would be ideal. Gold, of course is the colour?

Yes, it would obviously be great but at this stage of my career, if it’s one over the other, then it’s medals. First and foremost I want to win as many gold medals as possible.

There will be some good competition and a strong field as there always is in the heptathlon but I want to go there and retain my World title.

Q: You’re the world champion, the one everyone has in their sights. How do you deal with this?

I’m going to approach it in the same way as I did the last World Championships. I was going into that as favourite as a result of what I’d scored earlier in the year. I’m going in there, expecting that everyone will be at the top of their game, as hopefully I will be and just give it everything.

I’m not going to get too worried that I may have a target on my back and everyone wants to beat me. When we go to the World Championships, as with other major competitions, we all start on zero and on the same level.

Q: The fact that you’ve won World and European titles proves you’ve got what it takes to win big. Does this increase the pressure you put on yourself to do it again?

The more successful you are the more pressure comes with it but when you start winning major championships it does give you increased confidence and self belief.

You’ve done it in the past and you can do it again.

Q: I know Toni (Minichiello) will have a points target in mind. Do you?

I’ve not really thought about it. I want to go there and better what I’ve done before whether that is individual PBs, season’s best or an overall PB tally. I just want to improve year on year and get that gold medal if possible.

Q: Is Denise Lewis’ British record a realistic target?

It’s there and I’m aware of it but it’s not what I’m focused on. I’m focused on winning medals but obviously it would be a bonus if I managed to break it.

Q: You’re always looking for improvement, in which events particularly?

The long jump - I’ve been trying to get improvement for the last few years - and the throws (javelin and shot). It’s really the same year on year with these events but you can’t change them quickly; it could be months or perhaps years as it takes time to make those small changes. Hopefully all these changes will have come together and make a difference by next year.

Q: How do you feel in yourself going into the World Championships?

I’m happy enough with the way things are going. I have frustrating sessions when nothing goes right but I’ve had really good ones when I feel everything has come togther. I jumped a season’s best in the UK Trials and took some good things away from it.

Q: As far as your main rivals are concerned is it still the usual suspects or is there someone new coming through?

There are quite a few juniors who are doing quite well but it’s really the same four - Hyleas Fountain (USA), Tatiana Chernova (Russia), Nataliya Dobrynska (Ukraine) and Jennifer Oser (Germany).

Q: Daegu is staging the championships for the first time and doubtless the heat and humidity will bring about a difference sort of challenge. How do you deal with this?

I haven’t really seen any pictures or read much about the place, although it’s been quite difficult to find accomodation for family and friends.

Apparently it rains a lot and it’s pretty humid but hopfully I’ll be able to adjust to the climate and the time change (eight hours) which will be rather a shock to the body. I think it will be difficult but not too bad. There’s a training/holding camp at Ulsan and from here it’s about an hour’s drive to Daegu.

Q: Are any of the family going out?

Yes, my mum (Alison), dad (Vinnie) and sister (Carmel). I’ll certainly be looking out for them.

Q: What’s your plans when the World Championships are over?

I’ll have a break, go on holiday and have a bit of a rest before I start preparing for winter training.I’ll keep things as consistent as possible; a bit of indoor season and go back to Gotzis for the heptathlon.

Q: And how about Olympic year?

It’s going to be quite hard to imagine what it’s really going to be like next year. I’ll be looking to keep to my normal routine and keep focused.

Lots of people will want to do interviews and there will be different things happening in London and around the country. I’ll obviously be doing bits to support the Olympics but not too much because I need to train and prepare and don’t want to miss out on that.

I’m not going to waste this opportunity that I’ve got.

I’ll obviously keep my sponsors happy but I need to train and they’re aware of that. They, of course, want me to do well so I’m sure we’ll reach some sort of compromise. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do things in Sheffield which will be good.

Q: The wedding will presumedly come after the Olympics?

Yes, definitely. There’ll be lots of planning.

personal bests

100 metre hurdles: 12.79 secs, Loughborough, August 11, 2011

High Jump: 1.95m Desenzano del Garda, Italy, May 5, 2007; British record, jointly held with Diana Davies and Susan Moncrieff.

Shot put: 14.25m, Götzis, Austria, May 29, 2010 and Birmingham, July 30, 2011.

200 metres: 23.11 secs, Götzis, May 28, 2011

Long jump: 6.51m, New York, June 12, 2010

Javelin: 46.71m, Barcelona, July 31, 2010

800 metres: 2:08.46, Götzis, May 29, 2011

Heptathlon: 6,823 pts Barcelona, July 31, 2010; European Championship Record.




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