Risk-free Ennis pulls out of Paris

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World and European champion Jessica Ennis has withdrawn from the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for this week’s European Indoor Championships in Paris.

The Sheffielder has called time on her indoor season due to an inflammation of the left ankle which also caused her to pull out of the second day of the trials in Sheffield and Grand Prix in Birmingham. An MRI scan, her third since the injury occurred in mid-February, has shown improvement but not enough to risk participating in Friday’s pentathlon.

Ennis said: “I’ve thought long and hard about whether to compete in Paris and just don’t want to risk any further damage to my ankle and calf.

“The inflammation and fluid build-up is reducing and I could potentially get through the pentathlon with medication, but there’s no guarantee that it will not worsen as a result and then mess up the start of my outdoor season. I cannot take this risk. The World Championships has to be my priority.”

The news is a blow to Britain’s medal hopes in Paris. Ennis was odds-on favourite to add the European indoor crown to the world title she won in Doha in March last year. But the World Championships in South Korea is her main focus.