Ennis is in the zone for Korean gold rush

All that glitters: Jess Ennis sets her sights on gold in Daegu.       Picture: Ian Walton/Getty Images
All that glitters: Jess Ennis sets her sights on gold in Daegu. Picture: Ian Walton/Getty Images
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JESS Ennis believes a single-minded approach will pay dividends as she seeks to defend her world heptathlon title in Daegu.

Ennis is not the sort to obsess about her rivals, allowing equally-driven coach Toni Minichiello to do that.

Instead she intends to remain focused on her own preparations and performances, emboldened by the knowledge that at her best she will be hard to beat.

“My coach looks at the rankings more than me but obviously I am aware of them,” said Ennis, who is currently preparing for the World Championships in the heat, humidity and rain of Ulsan, South Korea, at a training camp funded by Aviva.

“The only things I really follow are the major heptathlon meets throughout the season and I like to see how people are getting on when everything is put together.

“But I don’t go surfing the internet to see what Dobrynska or others have done in individual events leading up the champs or anyone else.”

Ennis has enjoyed a near perfect build-up to Daegu, scorching to a new 100m hurdles personal best in Loughborough last week while she also equalled her shot best at the Aviva National Championships in Birmingham.

And her 6,790 score in Gotzis earlier this year leads the world rankings, although Russia’s Tatyana Chernova, the Olympic bronze medallist, is not far behind after a recent massive personal best in the Czech Republic. Now she is looking for more success in South Korea.

UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee has targeted seven medals in Daegu, one short of his eight aspirations at London 2012, and will be banking on Ennis to deliver at both events. “Obviously I want to do well because it is the last big championships, barring the indoors, before the Olympics next year, so it would be great to perform really well,” the Sheffield icon said.

“It would give you that boost. As you do well you do have more self belief in yourself and do view things a bit differently and believe that you can do it once you’ve done it before. To win gold would obviously be an amazing position to be in going into the Olympics.

“Last time in Berlin it was a great competition for me and I led from start to finish and I had a nice cushion but then for the Europeans last year Dobrynska chased me the whole way. Then I imagine this year is going to be even closer and next year closer again because that is the shapes that people are in.

“I don’t expect it to be a walk in the park by any means. I didn’t expect it to be like that in Berlin because I’d come into the season off the back of an injury but it was nice to have that cushion. But then last year was close and I imagine this year will be too.”

Ennis has been selected for the Aviva GB&NI Team and is at an Aviva funded preparation camp in Korea. Aviva’s support, home and abroad, is helping the team prepare to compete at their best. Find out more: aviva.co.uk/athletics or follow Twitter @AvivaAthletics