Although currently committed to the heptathlon, Jessica Ennis doesn’t rule out a future focused on hurdles
Despite being in the spotlight as the face of London 2012 during the build-up to the Games, life has changed even more radically for Jessica Ennis since she became Olympic heptathlon champion just over four months ago.
And so too, she tells AW, has her approach to training for 2013. “It’s always going to be a different situation going into next year,” says Britain’s female athlete of the year.
“I did virtually start back training when I normally do – at the end of September, but obviously different things happen and things are going on and I’m very aware that I want to enjoy this moment as much as possible because it’s not going to happen again, so it’s kind of been trying to juggle that and training.”
Ennis admits her build-up to the Moscow World Championships will have to be adapted. She has contested the winter’s major indoor championships for the past three years but is unlikely to defend her European pentathlon title in Gothenburg in March.
“After Olympic year I don’t want to rush back into it,” she says. “I want to compete when I’m ready – I don’t want to say, ‘the indoors are here, now I’ve got to compete.’ I want to do well when I compete. Before I was always like, ‘I want to do as many championships as possible’, now I’m more like, ‘I’ve just achieved some great things and I want to compete sensibly.’”
Much has been made of the 7000-points barrier, which the Sheffield athlete missed by just 45 points with her British record at the Games. Only three women have broken into that territory and that is at least one challenge remaining for her.
Another will undoubtedly be taking on the 100m hurdles as an individual event. The discipline had become Ennis’ best points-bagger of the seven even before her sensational 12.54 British record in London set her on the way to the Olympic gold.
“I really want to give hurdles a serious go,” she says. “Next year I’ve committed myself to doing the heptathlon and that’s the focus, but we’ll have to see. We’ll see how I’m hurdling next year. I might be rubbish!
“Probably when I’ve decided I’ve done enough with the heptathlon, when I feel I’ve reached my potential, I think that’s when I might give it a go. It’s a step down in training and a new challenge.”
» This is an excerpt from an interview with Jessica Ennis in Athletics Weekly. To see the full article, get the December 6 issue of AW.