Sheffield first stop for Ennis on route to Chernova showdown

 

Denise Lewis was on Desert Island Discs yesterday morning, talking about her golden moment on top of the podium in Sydney in 2000 and the empty feeling of what to do with the rest of her life after Olympic heptathlon success.

An hour later Jessica Ennis was sitting in a room at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield daring not to dream about the dizzying height of the London Olympic medal rostrum.

"Sometimes you can just drift off a little bit and start thinking how amazing it would be if I did achieve my ultimate dream," the European heptathlon champion said. "But I don't allow myself to think about it too often. You can end up being fixated about what will happen if you achieve your goal and forget about what you need to do to get there."

For Ennis, the road to London has already taken in two minor competitions at the EIS, the daily office where she puts in the hard yards with her coach of 15 years, Toni Minichiello. After a shot put victory in the Northern Indoor Championships four weeks ago and a 60m hurdles win and long jump second-placing in the McCain City Challenge last weekend, it's a step up in level over the next two days, with the high jump, shot, 60m hurdles and possibly also the long jump on the Sheffielder's schedule at the Aviva Indoor UK Trials and Championships.

The national championship meeting doubles as a trial for the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul next month but Ennis is already qualified and confirmed for the pentathlon there on 9 March – as is Tatyana Chernova.

The 6ft 2in Russian relieved the British golden girl of her world heptathlon title in Daegu last August, and a vision of the decisive moment in South Korea is at the back of Ennis' mind as she prepares for a spring re-match that could threaten Irina Belova's 20-year-old world indoor pentathlon record. In the bigger picture is an Olympic heptathlon duel that promises to be one of the highlights of the 2012 Games.

"I use it to motivate and fuel me: the image of crossing the line in the 800m and she has her arms in the air, celebrating, and I'm just kind of going, 'Ah, damn'," Ennis said. "If I'm having a bad training session I'll think of that moment and it'll help push me on. But at the same time I don't want to become obsessed with it.

"Everyone's going to create this big rivalry between me and Chernova. There is a big rivalry but there's not just me and Chernova; there are four or five of us who could quite easily get that gold medal in London."

Lewis, of course, was in a similar position going into Sydney Olympic year. She had been beaten by an emerging rival at the previous year's World Championships in Seville but when it came to the crunch in Stadium Australia the Briton took the gold and Eunice Barber of France failed to even podium.

Chernova has already long-jumped 6.54m this year, 35cm farther than Ennis in Sheffield last week, and has clocked 8.26sec for the 60m hurdles, 0.2sec slower than Ennis' time a week ago. Minichiello, however, stressed: "We're not getting wrapped up in what Chernova is doing. It's about making Jess be better at being Jess."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece