Anniversary Games 2015: Jessica Ennis-Hill heads into crucial day buoyed by fast hurdles time

Ennis-Hill records impressive showing in 100m hurdles ahead of her appearances in the long jump and 200m

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Jessica Ennis-Hill's coach Toni Minichiello had described the athlete's return to the Olympic Stadium for the first time in two years as "D-Day".

With two more events today – the 200 metres and the long jump – it is more a double D-Day as she singled out the Anniversary Games to decide whether to take up her spot for the heptathlon in the British team for the World Championships.

Returning to London to compete at the stadium that will forever define her for the first time since the birth of her son, Reggie, a year ago, Ennis-Hill, after a stuttering return to competition with a double Achilles complaint, finally showed signs of her true former self.

Explosive out of the blocks in the 100m hurdles, she may have only finished fifth – a place down on her last run at the original Anniversary Games in 2013 – but her time of 12.79 seconds took nearly half a second off her season best. In doing so, she separated the British sisters Tiffany Porter and Cindy Ofili in fourth and sixth respectively, the pair racing each other for only the second time over the distance.

After the run, Ennis-Hill said: “I’m made up. It’s such an adrenaline rush to be back here. To run 12.79 I’m so happy, I’m finally finding my form at the right point of the season. I’m happy to find some speed again – it’s a positive day.”

It was inside the Olympic Stadium where Ennis-Hill enjoyed what will always be her career highlight with gold in the heptathlon at London 2012. When she returned the following year with a separate Achilles complaint, she recently admitted she was not happy and was struggling for motivation in the wake of that unbelievable high on Super Saturday.

This time, she said she had achieved a better balance in her life and having got the old drive and determination back, with the long-term goal set out from the outset of winning a medal at next year’s Olympics.

“It’s incredible,” she said. “I was thinking about how it would feel to be back here and I couldn’t put it into words until stepping back in. And the crowd was so loud, it’s just an amazing feeling.”

While Ennis-Hill’s involvement may still hang marginally in the balance until she competes in her remaining two events, Christine Ohuruogu will definitely travel to China for the World Championships but does not currently appear to be in the form to successfully defend her 400m title from Moscow two years ago.

Ohuruogu finished fourth in 51 seconds dead behind American duo Natasha Hastings and Francena McCorory, with Jamaican Stephenie Ann McPherson in third. The most local of athletes, growing up just a stone’s throw away from the stadium, Ohuruogu said it was “just good to be back”.

As for whether she is in the shape to be crowned world champion for the third time, she added: “Whatever shape I’m in is the shape I’m going to take to Beijing.”

Meanwhile, Laura Weightman produced a superb run to lead the field into the home straight and then held on to win the 1500m in style.