Jess Ennis-Hill 'skirts' around Tyson Fury issue

Diplomatic Jess
Diplomatic Jess
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Sheffield's Jessica Ennis-Hill has shrugged off Tyson Fury's recent comments over her looks and insists she is still looking forward to the Sports Personality of the Year awards show.

The Olympic and world heptathlon champion is nominated alongside world heavyweight boxing champion Fury for the BBC honour, which will be presented in Belfast on December 20.

There have been calls for Fury to be removed from the shortlist after a string of controversial comments about homosexuality, paedophilia and gender equality.

Fury told BBC Radio 2 this week: "Homosexuality, abortion and paedophilia - them three things need to be accomplished before the world finishes. That's what the Bible tells me."

In another interview he was asked about his fellow SPOTY nominee Ennis-Hill and said: "That's the runner, isn't it? She's good, she's won quite a few medals, she slaps up good as well. When she's got a dress on she looks quite fit."

Ennis-Hill made light of those comments when she told several national newspapers: "I've not selected my dress.

"It's something I'm stressing about because I've left it too late in the day but I am trying to find a dress and hopefully I'll look nice, yeah."

Asked if Fury's comments had put her off attending the ceremony, she said: "No, I'm still really looking forward to it.

"I didn't go last year so I'm really looking forward to it. It's always a really nice evening getting to see a few people you haven't seen for a while and it should be great in Belfast."

Ennis-Hill's fellow Olympic and world champion, long-jumper Greg Rutherford, at one point decided to pull out of the Sports Personality vote before being talked around by the BBC.

But another nominee, cycling world road race champion Lizzie Armitstead, told Press Association Sport she had no intention to pull out.

"It's the panel who decided the list and I think the best thing I can do is stay on that list and represent my performances this year," she said.

"I'm just really happy to have made the list and I think it is more important to focus on the fact that more women are being recognised for their sporting achievements and that is a very positive thing."

The other female nominee, England's World Cup footballer Lucy Bronze, has not commented on Fury's remarks but tweeted at the time of her nomination: "What an honour!! @BBCSPOTY I may not win.. But in being nominated I know WE did our job #InspireANation"