Sheffield and England  expects – but has Jess  still got what it takes?

Jess Ennis
Jess Ennis
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Sheffield and England  expects – but has Jess  still got what it takes?

You and the rest of the world, you may say.

Fair enough, she was a dead cert.

Despite the weight of expectation placed on those slender shoulders by an expectant British press and public Jess went on to be not only the face of the London Olympics but its heart, soul and guts.

Now she has to do it all again.

Few sports men or women have carried the hopes of a nation and the spirit of a games as Jess did in 2012 and to perform as she did under such pressure puts her in an elite league pretty much of her own.

This time she’s four years older, a 30-year-old mother facing fresh competition from her sport’s rising stars.

British team colleague Katarina Johnson-Thompson is 23 and hungry for success. Then of course there’s the rest of the world’s heptahletes Brianne Theisen-Eaton aged 27, Laura Ikauniece-Admidina, 24 and – just when you were starting to think that only those with double-barreled surnames were allowed to compete - Carolin Schafer of Germany also 24.

All younger, all desperate for glory and all targeting Jess.

Can she see them off?

Jess proved her will to win is as strong as ever last summer when she won the world championships a year after giving birth to her son Reggie.

Her fitness and dedication are already proven, her ambition undoubted.

But the years will catch her eventually.

There will come a time when the magic isn’t quite there to get her over the line, when whatever it takes to win gold becomes out of reach.

No-one goes on for ever, her reign will come to an end.

But not this time.

Barring injury, Jessica Ennis-Hill will still have too much quality, too much determination for the rest, still be able to reach for that extra something when history beckons.

Will she see them off?

Yes she will, go Jess.

*One week ago this column was crying out for distraction from the Pogba problem.

Seven days on it’s worse.

The story of his prospective and protracted £100m transfer gets even more arcane with pundits looking for flickers of meaning in an Adidas Pogba promotional video like medieval soothsayers reading the King’s stools.

The latest ad ends with Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane’s cheeky smile as he walks away from an interview.

Zizu having the last laugh? An ‘eleventh hour’ bid to take Pogba to the Bernabau?

Someone please put us out of our misery.