Sheffield’s golden girl Jess sets her sights on qualifying for Rio Olympics

Jessica Ennis-Hill
Jessica Ennis-Hill
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Sheffield’s golden girl Jessica Ennis-Hill lhas set her sights on qualifying for next year’s Olympics when she takes part in her first heptathlon since winning London 2012 gold at the end of the month.

The Olympic gold medallist announced her intention to feature in the Gotzis Hypo-Meeting on May 30 and 31 on Tuesday, after showing no ill-effects from competing in Loughborough at the weekend.

The 29-year-old, from Dore, who has been struggling with an Achilles injury, has only recently returned to athletics after a near two-year absence following the birth of her son.

But she has rejected thoughts of merely testing the waters at the Austria meeting and is optimistic she can reach the 6,200-point mark needed to be eligible to represent Team GB at Rio 2016 and defend her Olympic title.

“After competing in Loughborough at the weekend I felt pretty good the next day and my Achilles felt fine which is brilliant,” she said.

“The results I have had at the competitions over the past few weeks are promising and we believe it is feasible for me to do a full heptathlon and achieve the level of points I need to qualify for Rio.

“If I can achieve this early in the season it removes a real pressure, and all the indicators are looking positive, so I plan to go to Gotzis and give it my best shot.”

She marked her return to competition by finishing third in the 100m hurdles at the Great CityGames in Manchester on May 9 and followed it up with third and sixth-place finishes in the long jump and javelin at the Loughborough International Athletics meeting on Sunday.

Ennis-Hill’s coach, Toni Minichiello, said “Having come through the weekend’s competition without any issues from a physical point of view, and for Jess to actually feel good, I am feeling positive about her being in a position to achieve the qualification for the Olympics in Gotzis.”