JESSICA Ennis is a lean, mean fighting machine.
The Sheffield superstar smashed the British heptathlon record of former Olympic champion Denise Lewis to record her third straight win at the two-day Hypo Meeting in Gotzis last weekend.
Indeed, Ennis finished with a score of 6,906 points, 75 more than Lewis’ previous mark and 83 in excess of her own personal best.
But the 26-year-old’s coach, Toni Minichiello, is refusing to get carried away and posted on Twitter: “Still more work to do but smiling now.”
It was an impressive marker Ennis laid down to her rivals Tatyana Chernova and Nataliya Dobrynska as she became only the eighth woman ever to score more than 6,900.
Ennis insists there is still more to come from her.
“I know that I am in great shape and that I can build on this,” she said. “I am just going to keep doing and believing in what I have been doing and hopefully I’ll get it right in London.”
Ennis’ superb performance also silenced the doubters who had questioned her weight. She went into the Hypo meeting to the backdrop of bizarre reports that a senior figure at UK Athletics had labelled her “fat”.
Kelly Sotherton, Ennis’ predecessor as Britain’s heptathlon golden girl, has defended her over criticism of her weight, saying: “Jess is bigger, but she’s not fat. She’s strong, she’s a much stronger-looking athlete, and I bet come the Olympics she will look amazing.
“In two months time, the stress and the worry and shaping up for the Olympics, she will be even smaller. She’s so tiny.
“I do think it’s a bit uncalled-for, the ‘fat’ jibes.”
Sotherton publicly announced her retirement on Sunday after injury ended her own bid to qualify for the London 2012 Games.
Looking ahead to August, Sotherton said: “I think Jess will (get gold), it’s going to be tricky but I think she’s got every attribute to win gold.
“She looks like she’s coming good at just the right time, she got a personal best at the weekend and beat Lewis’ British record. She’s such a strong personality and having that home crowd is only going to help her.”