Injury has forced Jessica Ennis-Hill to pull out of her first scheduled appearance since winning Olympic gold last year. Ennis-Hill was to have competed in a club competition in Edinburgh on Saturday but will delay her return until next week at the earliest.
Ennis-Hill – she added her husband's name after their wedding last month – has been advised by UK Athletics medical staff to rest a stiff left achilles. She trained this morning; dropping out of the Meadowbank meet, where she was due to compete at hurdles, long jump and javelin for her club Trafford in a UK Women's Athletics League Premier Division event, was described as a precaution.
"Obviously I am really disappointed as I was really looking forward to getting my season under way on Saturday, but I'm not going to take any risks," she said. "I've been told if I rest this now I should be able to resume my competitions as soon as possible – hopefully next week."
Ennis-Hill is scheduled to compete in Oslo next Thursday, running in her strongest event, the hurdles. She is entered in her first heptathlon of the year – her first since her stunning performance in London – in Tallinn at the end of this month as she builds towards August's World Championships in Moscow. Ennis-Hill missed a chunk of the 2011 season, including the indoor world championships, with an ankle injury that was at first thought to be no more than a niggle.
Injury has dogged a number of British athletes in recent months – today Jenny Meadows was ruled out of the business end of a second successive season – but Dai Greene will tonight make his first return to the track since his agonising fourth-place finish in the London Games.
Greene has his world title to defend in the 400m hurdles in Moscow and will use the disappointment of London to spur his efforts over the next two months. Injury dogged his preparations for London and he was far from his fluent best in the Games. After a strong winter he suffered a double hernia and had surgery in March. He has had time for only a handful of hurdling sessions since the operation but is desperate to get back on the track.
"It's like going into the unknown," he said. "We did a training run to hurdle 10 last week, but that was in Bath in average conditions at best and you can never take too much from it. It was a decent run so we thought there was no reason why I shouldn't be here and just throw myself into the deep end.
"Things are getting easier for me since the operation. I'm running a lot better and I'm just really strong. All the foundations are in place and we're not worried about anything. We've got plenty of time as well, which gives you peace of mind. We know we've got a formula that works and we're just trying to follow it through. I'm desperate, obviously, to make up for last year."
Greene is one of a number of Britons making their first significant appearance of the season in Rome.
Brits in the running: Eight in Rome action
Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, 100m
It is five years since the 24-year-old ran a personal best of 10.10sec. The start of a make-or-break season.
Shara Proctor, Long jump
World championships medal hope moved training base from the United States to Loughborough this year.
Steve Lewis, Pole vault
Six of tonight's field cleared higher than the 27-year-old's PB of 5.82m.
Dai Greene, 400m hurdles
First run of the season for the Welsh world champion after double hernia.
Hannah England, 1500m
Ran world championship qualifying time in Eugene last weekend. Easing back into action.
Lisa Dobriskey, 1500m
Three years since former world silver medallist broke four minutes.
Phillips Idowu, Triple jump
The 34-year-old is in a high-class field with Christian Taylor, the Olympic champion, and Teddy Tamgho.
Eilish McColgan, 3,000m steeplechase
Finished eighth in her first run of the season in New York – this will be a step up in class for the 22-year-old.
Michael Bingham, Nigel Levine and Martyn Rooney all run in 400m, but the race is not part of the Diamond League schedule.