False start wrecks Jess’s night

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JESSICA Ennis could be forgiven for not enjoying the hurdles at the moment.

It may be her strongest event out of the seven heptathlon disciplines, but she suffered another setback last night at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo when she was disqualified for a false start.

Last month in Manchester the Millhouses-based athlete stormed through for a new personal best time before discovering that officials had laid out only nine hurdles instead of the regulation 10 on the 100 metre track.

Ennis, aged 26, enjoys testing herself against the best hurdlers in the world - of which she is one - and after qualifying for the final with a run of 12.83 seconds in the heats she looked set to further enhance her reputation.

However, Ennis, clearly looking for a quick start, set off too quickly and had to watch from the wrong end of the home straight as Australian world champion Sally Pearson won the race in a time of 12.49 - joint fastest of the year so far.

The men’s 100m battle between world record holder Usain Bolt and fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell lived up to its billing with Olympic champion Bolt holding off Powell to win in a time of 9.79.

Powell pushed Bolt all the way to record his season’s best of 9.85.

Britain’s Mark Lewis-Francis - like Ennis - had to watch the race unfold as he misjudged the start and was disqualified.