Sheffield golden girl Jess maintains strong start

WORLD and European heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis hit top form at the Loughborough Open this weekend.

The 24-year-old, who studied psychology at Sheffield Hallam University, clocked 8.03 seconds over 60m hurdles, an improvement of 8.15 on her performance at the English Institute of Sport last week.

Ennis, who faces world indoor sprint hurdles champion Lolo Jones at the Aviva International meeting in Glasgow on Saturday, also starred in the shot put. She threw a superb 14.61m, 36cm further than her outdoor best.

A minor setback for the Woodseats athlete, who finished third in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, was her display in the long jump, where she could only produce a 6.16m best, well down on her best.

Following her exploits in 2010, Ennis is one of the names on the shortlist for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, the winner of which will be unveiled at a televised Awards Ceremony staged in Abu Dhabi on Monday February 7.

She is up against three tennis players - Belgium's Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki - plus American ski star Lindsey Vonn and Croatian high jump sensation Blanka Vlasic.

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