JESSICA Ennis declared herself ‘happy’ with her first javelin throws of the year after recording her best ever start of the season distance.
Millhouses-based Ennis, who is one of the favourites for the heptathlon gold medal at the London Olympics this summer, was taking part as a guest at a low-key university athletics meeting at RAF Cosford in the West Midlands.
Although the 26-year-old is a solid javelin thrower, her poor performance in last year’s World Championship cost her the title and led many to declare it her Achilles heel over the seven heptathlon disciplines.
She responded by throwing for 45.66 metres, which is her furthest since a personal best distance of 46.71m at the European Championships in July 2010.
Coach Toni Minichiello said Ennis was happy with her first outdoor event of the Olympic season and said it showed that her hard work with javelin coach Mick Hill was paying off: “We’ve been working to make her more consistent with her run up so she can repeat it.
“We’re probably looking to get towards 46 metres to get into the ‘A Pool’ for the javelin in London, but this is a good start. That throw would have given her around 100 extra points to what she had in Daegu (at the World Championships). So it shows the improvement.”
Ennis will next be in competitive action at the Yorkshire Championships at Barnsley’s Dorothy Hyman Stadium on May 12-13.
She is entered into the 200 metres, shot put and javelin - although she may just take part in the throwing events.
Hallamshire runner Tom Jenkins, running his first marathon, did well in yesterday’s Virgin London Marathon to finish 67th in a time of 2:31:42. Jenkins paced himself well going through the halfway point in 75:15 for a remarkably even paced performance.
South Yorkshire performances included: T Jenkins (Hallamshire) 2:31:42, S Newton (Barnsley AC) 2:36:33, C Ryde (Doncaster) 2:36:45, P Hoole (Rotherham) 2:38:44, D Palmer (Steel City) 2:39:55, D Thompson (Barnsley AC) 2:42:09, S Maycock (Hallamshire) 2:42:52, M Sprot (Hallamshire) 2:44:45, Women: J Horne (Sheffield RC) 3:02:31.
Alfie Manthorpe (City of Sheffield) was 17th in the under 13 boys race at the London mini marathon, run over the last three miles of the marathon route. Josh Naisbitt (City of Sheffield) was 21st in the under 15 race and Hallamshire’s Tom Bains was 29th at under 17 level.
In the girls races Fional Bell Hallamshire) was 22nd in the under 17 race and Hallamshire pair Imani Wilson (18th) and Mary McCarthy (34th) ran well in the under 13 race. All were representing Yorkshire and Humberside in the team event.