Jess Ennis’ coach hits back at ‘fat’ jibes

News: Local, national and international news 24-hours a day.
News: Local, national and international news 24-hours a day.
Have your say

JESSICA Ennis’ coach has claimed a senior figure at UK Athletics has described the Olympic heptathlon hopeful as ‘fat’ ahead of this summer’s London Games.

Toni Minichiello claims an unnamed ‘high-ranking person’ within the governing body labelled the 26-year-old former world champion fat and said ‘she’s got too much weight’.

Minichiello said the comments came from ‘people in fairly high positions, who should know better’ while Ennis is preparing for the Olympics

“I get e-mails, phone calls, text messages and voicemails giving me advice on what I should be doing with Jessica Ennis that’s going to make a difference. It’s a lot of background noise that you can get easily distracted by,” Minichiello said.

“Yes, it might be a great idea, but it’s not a great idea for today, it’s a great idea for next year.

“I’ve never had any issue with her weight or shape. There are times I’ve wished she was taller, but that’s it.

“The things you can’t deal with are what we’ve dubbed as ‘silver bullets’. And other people. You can’t deal with the expectations and pressures that are on other people, like the BOA’s team management.”

Minichiello also hit out at plans from the British Olympic Association for Team GB members to sign a code of conduct ahead of the Olympics.

“What’s a big deal to Clive Woodward at the minute is the athletes’ agreement,” he said, ahead of Ennis’ last heptathlon before the Olympics in Gotzis, Austria this weekend.

“The Olympics, for Jess, is an individual environment and she knows how to behave and get the best out of herself.

“You know what? Jessica doesn’t have a problem with behaviour. We don’t have an issue there, we’re not going to get embroiled in bad stuff. She signs the flag, we just get on. It’s an aesthetic. I may get in trouble for (saying) that.”