Sheffield’s Jessica-Ennis Hill poised for long-awaited return

Jessica Ennis
Jessica Ennis

All eyes will be on Jessica Ennis-Hill when she returns to competition at the Manchester City Games tomorrow.

The year after her Olympic success she competed only five times, restricted by a niggling injury (although she threw a personal best of 48.33 in the javelin).

Last year was written off for the very best of reasons, the birth of her son Reggie.

Ennis-Hill has resumed serious training with the 2016 Olympics as her target and will be looking at anything else as preparation for the defence of her title and cannot realistically be expected to be anywhere near her form of 2012 at this stage. Nevertheless it would be a surprise if she were not competitive against a top class field in the 100 metres hurdles on the specially laid track on Deansgate.

It was there two years ago that she ran a personal best of 12.75 only to find nine flights of hurdles had been put out instead of 10, causing the organisers much embarrassment.

The hurdles is Ennis-Hill’s strongest event and she set a UK record of 12.54 in the Olympic Heptathlon. That has since been eclipsed by her British team mate Tiffany Porter with 12.51 and she is in tomorrow’s race. So too is the rapidly improving British athlete Lucy Hatton, runner up in this year’s European Indoor Championship.

But the runner to beat is Brianne Rollins, former World Champion from the USA. Her best, 12.26 was set two years ago and is the third fastest of all time.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson is running in the 200m.