Ennis shaping up for world title defence

World champion: Jess Ennis.  Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.
World champion: Jess Ennis. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.
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After all the hoopla and glitz of the year-to-the-Olympics celebrations it’s back to business for Britain’s leading athletes this weekend with the UK Championships in Birmingham.

The competition also doubles as the trials for next month’s World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis already has her ticket booked for the Far East as reigning world champion but she’ll be far from taking it easy. Entered into five events - shot, 100m hurdles, high jump, long jump and javelin - she’s aiming to work herself into top shape to defend her title.

“Training has been going well,” she told The Star.

“We’ve done a lot of heavy work over the last five or six weeks because I missed out earlier in the season with an injury. I was really surprised to get so close to my personal best in Gotzis (in May).

“We’ll see where we’re at this weekend.”

While Ennis could possibly win an individual title in the high jump, or the hurdles, she is more concerned with seeing improvements and refinements in each discipline.

She said she never stops learning: “I’m always finding something out or changing things to make them better.”

City of Sheffield’s Mukhtar Mohammed will be aiming to snatch a place in the team for Daegu in the 800 metres.

Bronze medallist in the European Under 23 Championships, Mohammed has already beaten the established UK number one Michael Rimmer this season and goes into the race full of confidence following a series of top quality performances.

His Sheffield team-mates Sam Ellis and Steve Evison will also be looking for places in the final as will Rotherham’s Rhian Hastey. Lee Emanuel (City of Sheffield) and Andy Heyes (Hallamshire) contest the 1,500 metres whilst Matt Hudson (City of Sheffield) should reach the final of the 110 metres hurdles.

In the field events Luke Cutts (Dearne ALC), who cleared 5.60 indoors earlier this year, has only managed 5.20 in two outdoor appearances and will be hoping for something approaching his best.

Matt Lambley (City of Sheffield) is in a strong line up for the hammer.