In the end quality counts and Jess Ennis proved that in emphatic style much to the chagrin of Lolo Jones.
The American double world indoor sprint hurdles champion couldn’t believe she’d been beaten by a multi-eventer in last year’s 60m hurdles.
Then again, as we all know, Jess Ennis is no ordinary heptathlete or pentathlete.
Sure enough Jones had come into the event in last weekend’s Aviva International match in Glasgow, warning she expected to gain revenge. Easy to talk it up but much more difficult to deliver on the track as Sheffield’s finest blitzed the American once again.
The 25-year-old GB skipper, clocked a season’s best of 7.97 seconds - just two hundreths of a second off the British record she set in last year’s event - while Jones trailed in a very disappointing fourth after clattering the third hurdle.
“I always come into it just wanting a good quality race and to push my time,” said Jess. “I thought it was a bit of a fluke 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 this season and each time I’ve got quicker and I think if I’m running under eight seconds that’s really good. Hopefully I can produce that in the summer.”
It’s a major boost for her with next month’s European Indoor Championships in Paris on the horizon but while she’s happy with the hurdles, she admits there’s room for improvement in the long jump after a leap of 6.38m brought her third place at the meeting.
“I was pleased with jumping 6.51m last year (her outdoor personal best) but I still feel there’s so much more to come. I’ll just go away and put a bit more into it and hope that it improves,” she added.
Meanwhile Jess will compete in the high jump for Sheffield Flames in the McCain City Challenge held at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport on Sunday.
Flames will be hoping to retain their status as champions, which they have held for the past two years, in the indoor athletics series which takes place over two matches and involves eight teams in a city versus city format. Joining her on the team will be former European 800m bronze medallist Sam Ellis, who will captain the men’s team and take part in the medley relay, while last year’s star of the show Louise Bloor will compete in the 200m as women’s team captain.
Spectators are welcome and entry is free.
For more information, go to: http://www.uka.org.uk/competitions/mccain-city-challenge/