Golden girl Ennis lines up Gateshead homecoming
Saturday 22 August 2009
World heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis will compete at the British Grand Prix at Gateshead International Stadium later this month.
The Sheffield athlete, who won Britain's first gold medal of the World Championships in Berlin on Sunday, will race in the 100-metre hurdles on 31 August.
"To come back to the UK from Berlin as a medallist is fantastic for me. It's the icing on the cake of a really good season and, hopefully, I can finish on a high," Ennis said.
"I am really looking forward to getting up to Gateshead because I have never been there before, so I haven't got any memories of it. It will all be new to me, but I can't wait. To perform in front of a British crowd will be fantastic."
Also competing in Gateshead will be Bahamian Ryan Brathwaite, the 110m hurdles world champion, and Jamaica's 400m hurdler Melaine Walker, who last night added the World Championship crown to the Olympic title she won in Beijing.
Meanwhile, in Berlin yesterday, Sergey Kirdyapkin said his wife's fourth-place finish at the world championships fuelled his late-race surge and commanding victory in the 50-kilometre walk.
"Today, in the morning, I got an SMS from my wife, and the SMS was quite short: 'I'm asking for revenge,'" Kirdyapkin said. "And that's happened today."
His win gave Russia a sweep of the race walks, after Valeriy Borchin and Olga Kaniskina took the men's and women's 20km events. Kirdyapkin's wife, Anisya Kirdyapkina, missed out on a medal in the women's 20km walk by about a minute.
Kirdyapkin, the 2005 world champion, moved up from fourth at the 35km mark to the lead with 10km to go, winning in three hours, 38 minutes, 35 seconds, beating Trond Nymark of Norway by 2min 41sec. Jesús Ángel García of Spain was third to cross the finish line at the Brandenburg Gate, 3min 2sec behind Kirdyapkin.
The 29-year-old Kirdyapkin dropped to the ground after crossing the finish line and was helped away from the course.
"When I finished I felt like my muscles were stopped," he said.
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