Athletics: Coe is sympathetic to the plight of Ennis-Hill

Seb Coe with Jessica Ennis-Hill
Seb Coe with Jessica Ennis-Hill
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Seb Coe says it is no surprise that the likes of Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis-Hill are battling injury problems in the year after an Olympic Games.

Double-Olympic champion Coe, who was brought up in the city and attended Tapton School, said the intensity of the years before a Games leave an athlete’s body in a fragile state.

He said: “My dad said coaching me the year after the Olympic games was like coaching an egg shell, you know you do go to the well an awful lot of time in an Olympic year, mentally and physically, and particularly track and field athletes do come out slightly fragile, and when you’re in an Olympic year there are no tomorrows, you’re not thinking about do I do something this year than might infringe on a World Championships, you just live for the moment.

“In 1981 I came out of 80 (the Moscow Olympics) well but in ‘85 I came out of ‘84 (Los Angeles) and I don’t think I put more than three to four training weeks together without an injury, and that was no coincidence that was because of seven races in nine days in LA and the challenges of an Olympic year.

“I’m not writing off the British team this year, and I don’t think anybody else is and they shouldn’t, but it doesn’t surprise me that the athletes that competed so well last year are having a fragile time, and it really doesn’t surprise me, it sort of happens.”

Ennis-Hill’s decision may be made easier with news that Olympic silver medallist Tatyana Chernova has pulled out with a knee injury.

Russia’s Chernova was the reigning world champion.

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