Jessica Ennis revealed last night that she has struggled to motivate herself since she returned to training after winning Olympic gold in London last year.
Ennis was one of three British winners at last night’s Laureus sports awards in Rio de Janeiro, chosen as sportswoman of the year in recognition of her achievements at London 2012. Later this year she will look to reclaim her world title in Moscow but admitted that the Olympics had been her focus for so long that she initially found little to spur her. Ennis follows a number of Britain's successful Olympians in confessing to finding their return to action difficult in the wake of London, including the gold-medal winning cyclist Jason Kenny.
“I’d never been to an Olympics so there was always another championships much greater than the worlds, than the Europeans. I always had this bigger focus,” she said. “I came away from the worlds in 2009, happy that I won but knew I had to forget about it and work towards the Olympics. It’s been a really strange feeling, going back into training and thinking I’ve got my medal that I wanted why am I going to hurt myself all over again? But then you get back into the routine and I think once I start competing again that will get the fire going.
“I really felt it at the start of the winter. That was the hardest part. It’s a completely different feeling, especially with it being London and it having such a long build up focussing on one thing.”
There were two other British winners at the Laureus sports awards. Andy Murray’s Olympic gold and US Open double earned him the Breakthrough of the Year award, while Seb Coe received a lifetime achievement award. The European Ryder Cup team was named team of the year and Usain Bolt sportsman of the year.