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Ennis saves the best for last

May 26, 2012 18:06 pm

Jessica Ennis has the British record of former Olympic champion Denise Lewis in her sights after a brilliant end to the opening day of the heptathlon in Gotzis.

Ennis saved the best for last at the Hypo Meeting she has won for the past two years with a brilliant new personal best of 22.88 seconds in the 200 metres, taking 0.23secs off her previous best set here last year.

That gave her a lead of 221 points over Lithuania's Austra Skujyte, and her total of 4,113 points was just 11 behind her best first-day total from when she won the world title in Berlin in 2009, but significantly 33 ahead of her total at the European Championships in Barcelona the following year. On that occasion she went on to set her personal best of 6,823, just eight points shy of Lewis' British record.

"I'm honestly not thinking about it (the record) yet, I just want to focus on getting the next three events right and then we'll see at the end of it," Ennis told reporters while standing in an ice bath fashioned from a wheelie ban in the bowels of the Mosle Stadion.

"I would love the British record definitely, but it is just about me preparing the best I can for the summer and making sure I am confident and I've built on what I've done in the indoors and last year. That's more important to me at the moment."

World champion Tatyana Chernova of Russia is another eight points behind in third in Gotzis.

Ennis had earlier shrugged off the bizarre reports that a senior figure at UK Athletics had labelled her "fat" with a superb run in the opening event of the 100m hurdles, clearing them all in 12.81secs to win the final heat. That was just 0.02s outside her personal best and a stadium record, while also being the fastest time she has recorded as part of a heptathlon.

The high jump is also traditionally one of Ennis's strongest events, but the former world champion was disappointed to only clear 1.85m, 10 centimetres down on her personal best.

"It should be way better than that so it's frustrating. (Nataliya) Dobrynska and Chernova didn't jump too well either so there is a little positive to take from it, but I'm still disappointed," Ennis said.

"It just didn't happen. The headwind wasn't great, but I can't blame it on that really."

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