As Tatyana Chernova packed her bags at the athletes' hotel yesterday after the two days of the Hypo-Meeting here in the west of Austria, it helped that she had been this way before. In fact, 12 months ago she suffered a more comprehensive defeat at the hands of Jessica Ennis in Götzis, yet ended the summer as the golden girl of the heptathlon.
At the 2011 Hypo-Meeting the 6ft 2in Russian finished 251 points down on the 5ft 5in Briton. At the conclusion of the 2012 event on Sunday the gap between the pair was 132 points. So, while Ennis departed for Sheffield yesterday on the high of a British record-breaking score of 6,906 points two months from a home Olympic Games, Chernova prepared to return to Krasnodor thinking of how she turned a heavy defeat in Götzis into a resounding victory at the World Championships in Daegu last summer. "It helps me, because my power at the World Championships showed what I can do," the 24-year-old said. "I feel strong and I know I can do it again. What happened last year shows that this competition helps me to do the work I need.
"I'm happy with what I did here. I scored good points. I beat Jess in the last event, the 800m, so I feel good. I know what to do in the next two months before the Olympic Games, so it makes me happy."
Chernova only beat Ennis in that one of the seven events in the picturesque Mösle Stadion, and only just pipped her with a flying finish in the 800m. She finished with 6,774 points, which was 235 more than she scored at this stage last year.
When it came to Daegu two and a half months later she improved to 6,880 points, just 26 less than the tally Ennis accumulated at the weekend.