SHEFFIELD’S Jessica Ennis admits anything but heptathlon gold at the Olympics will be viewed as a failure by the public as she deals with the weight of expectation on her shoulders.
But she says she can’t wait to get started.
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Ennis, the 2009 world champion, is the golden girl of British athletics and the bookmakers’ clear favourite to win gold at her home Olympics.
The Sheffield 26-year-old understands and accepts the pressure on her shoulders from others but insists she will not put too much on herself.
“Because of the expectation and pressure, I think anything but gold, everyone would view that as a failure and I’m aware of that,” she said.
“But it’s just about focusing on what I know I can do and getting the most out of every event. If I give it absolutely everything and don’t come away with the gold then I did everything I could have done, but just wasn’t the best person on the day.
“I’m going to go there and give it everything to see what I can do.”
She added: “I obviously get asked a lot about the pressure and how I’m feeling and of course I feel it. There is a lot of expectation going into a home Games for anyone. But I’m just really focused on my training and how things have been going and realistically what I can achieve.
“I think if I just focus on that then hopefully I can go out there and perform well.
“I feel really good. I’m happy with how I’ve trained, and done in competitions and preparations, so I’m pretty much ready to go. There’s not much more I can do at this stage it’s just down to final bits of preparation camp and then we’re good to go.”
Ennis suffered disappointment in 2008 when injury scuppered her participation in the Beijing Games and she admits that heartache spurs her on now.
“I do think about that time when I missed out and how I felt and it just makes me appreciate this moment even more and the position that I’m in,” she said.
“I’m happy to go in a really great time of my life so I’m just trying to make the most of it, enjoy it and do the best I can.
“I’m definitely ready for the competition to start now. “It’s been such a huge build-up for all of us and I’m feeling ready to get on with it now. I’ve done all the hard training and put all the hard work in so I’m looking forward to getting onto the track and competing.
“It’s been a mad couple of years but it’s been great, it’s been a brilliant experience. I’m really happy with my season, the way it’s gone so far, and all the other great opportunities and things that I’ve had.
“It’s been a great year so far and I just want to put the icing on the cake when we get to London and hopefully have a great performance down there.”