OLYMPICS: Sheffield’s Jess Ennis gets feel of place

Jessica Ennis
Jessica Ennis
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JESSICA Ennis says the Team GB slogan of home advantage doesn’t just apply to the Olympic Stadium in London.

The 26-year-old Millhouses-based athlete, is now in the Athletes Village after completing her pre-Games preparations in Portugal.

And while she hasn’t physically seen the huge poster in Barkers Pool or felt the growing support for her in the city she says she appreciates all that Sheffield has done for her to lead to this point: “It obviously means a lot to me. I’m from a great city and I’ve had really great support from people in the last few years.

“I’m very lucky to have that base there and I’m aware of bits that are going on. Friends will be watching and having celebrations of their own.

“I’m trying not to think about it too much because it adds pressure, so it’s nice that I’ve got the support but I’m focusing on this moment and what I’ve got to do in the next few days.”

Yesterday morning Ennis took the chance to walk around the Olympic Stadium in order to familiarise herself with it. She said it’s an important part of her pre-event routine.

“For me I’d only even been to the stadium once and that was when the track wasn’t down. I went in and saw it all ready.

“I just wanted to see the different areas where I’ll be competing and getting familiar with them.

“It’s something I normally do before major championships. Get to know the route to the track and the combined events route.

“I can’t wait to get out there and compete.”

There was a danger that Team GB wouldn’t have won a gold medal before the former world champion begins competing tomorrow.

However, moments before she spoke at the press conference yesterday rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning came home first at Eton Dorney.

Ennis said it will inspire the whole team.

“We’ve all been waiting for a gold medal and we’ve been out in Portugal watching everyone compete. To actually be here in the village and see the girls win a gold medal is a great start.

“I think it definitely inspires people when you see that first gold medal won. It will definitely knock on to other events.”

And on Yorkshire Day she picked out the performance of Otley road race cyclist Lizzie Armistead as her moment of the Games so far.

“It was an amazing race for her. The way she went out so strong with the other two girls to leave the pack.

“The weather was horrendous and she managed to hold on and win that silver medal.”