Jessica Ennis-Hill has pulled out of Thursday’s Diamond League meeting in Oslo, further delaying her return to action after the Olympics. An Achilles injury that caused her to miss a club event in Edinburgh on Saturday has still not cleared up.
Ennis-Hill was supposed to compete in the hurdles in Olso ahead of her first heptathlon since winning Olympic gold in Estonia later this month. Her main aim for the season is regaining her title at the world championships in August and her coach Toni Minichiello may look for her to add an event to her schedule to make up for this interrupted preparation.
Ennis-Hill said: “I am so frustrated as I want to get out there and start my season, but am being advised to look longer term and focus on a plan that enables me to be in the best shape for Moscow in August. Things are getting better and the stiffness is improving – but not quite as quickly as I would have liked.
“My next planned event is the Combined Events Challenge in Estonia at the end of the month, but I know that my coach, Toni Minichiello, will be looking at the race calendar for the next few months and making a few new plans.”
Injury is an ever-present concern for multi-event athletes and has disrupted the 27-year-old’s career in previous seasons but Ennis-Hill, who changed her name after her wedding last month, and her coaching team insist not competing in Edinburgh or Oslo is nothing more than a sensible precaution. With their August scheduling, the world championships come late in the season and so Ennis-Hill still has plenty of time to regain fitness and competition fitness ahead of Moscow. Ennis-Hill won world gold in Berlin in 2009, her first major title, before taking silver behind the Russian Tatyana Chernova in Daegu two years ago.
Her commanding performance in London last summer means she will begin as strong favourite to recapture the world crown, should she be fit.