Jessica Ennis-Hill’s bid for a World Championship heptathlon medal gets underway in the early hours of tomorrow morning.
The London Olympic gold medallist takes to the track in Beijing tomorrow at 2 am for her best and favourite event, the 100 metres hurdles.
A good start here would set her up nicely in her quest for a medal. Whilst Canada’s Brianne Theison-Eaton is favourite for the title, it would surprise no-one if Ennis-Hill or her young team mate Katarina Johnson-Thompson finished on top of the podium.
Even with a somewhat tentative comeback in Gotzis in May, Ennis-Hill scored 6520 points, ranking her fourth in 2015 of those competing in Beijing.
Since then her training has gone well, her performances have improved and she could well operate around the 6800 mark.
That is well short of her Olympic medal winning mark of 6955 but would certainly challenge Theison-Eaton. And if it came to a close run thing, few would bet against the Sheffield athlete pulling out all the stops in the final event, the 800 metres. It is an event she hates but she never runs a bad one.
Theison-Eaton will be looking to add gold to the silver she won two years ago and will be further motivated by the prospect of a family double. Her husband Ashton Eaton is favourite for the men’s decathlon.
Even without Theison-Eaton, there is the intriguing clash between Ennis-Hill and Johnson Thompson. The young Liverpool athlete has had her own injury problems in the run up to Beijing but she is evidently back to full fitness. Her near World record performance in winning the European indoor pentathton this year shows how good she is.
Other Europeans who could be in the mix include Carolin Schafer (Germany), Nadine Broerson (Hollanda) and Nafissatou Thiam (Belgium).
* Women’s heptathlon times (BST) Sat - 2am hurdles: 3:20am high jump: 11:30am Shot; 1:15pm 200. Sun - 2am long jump; 3:50am javelin; 12:40pm 800m.