Champ Jess thriving on the pressure

Athletics: Results and reports.
Athletics: Results and reports.
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World heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis says she can cope with the pressure of being Britain’s highest-profile athlete as she begins her outdoor season in Austria.

The 25-year-old will go into this summer’s World Championships and next year’s Olympic Games as hot favourite to win gold. But as she prepares for the Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis, Austria, this weekend she says the scrutiny is something she thrives on.

She said: “I don’t think I ever want to take a step back. People put expectations on you and want to hang the medal round your neck but I know how much work I have to do. As long as I remember that I’ll be okay.”

Inflammation to the plantaris muscle in her left leg meant she missed six weeks of training earlier in the season. However, a return to action in Manchester a fortnight ago and in Loughborough last weekend has left her excited about the season.

Full Ennis interview: The Star tomorrow