Ennis eager to give GB golden start

03 August 2012 / 00:02

Jessica Ennis feels she is in the best shape of her life and is relishing the pressure of getting Britain's athletics team off to a golden start at the London Olympics.

After losing both of her world titles in the space of seven months, Ennis bounced back in brilliant style with a new personal best and national heptathlon record of 6,906 points in Gotzis in May.

That was 75 more than the previous record of 6,831 set by Denise Lewis in 2000, shortly before she won Olympic gold in Sydney, and makes Ennis only the eighth woman ever to score more than 6,900.

And now the 26-year-old from Sheffield is raring to go in her first Olympic Games, having thankfully avoided the kind of injury which forced her to miss out on the Beijing Games in 2008.

Asked at UK Athletics' training camp in Portugal if she was in the best shape of her life, Ennis said: "I do feel very good to be honest. I am very happy with the year so far, what I have done. I am happy being out here (Monte Gordo), the training I have done. Yes, I feel good.

"It feels great because all through the year you worry a bit through every training session. You cannot stress too much but you are thinking 'What if I clip a hurdle', or something happens and it can go just like that, so yes it feels good to be this close and still feeling good.

"I still feel the passion but it's been a long build-up. When that BP advert comes on again, I think 'Oh, no, not this again!' and Andy (her fiance) pauses it and we have a laugh about it. That lessens the importance of it all and makes it easier."

Claiming Olympic gold would mean Ennis has lifted all three major titles - she also won Commonwealth bronze in 2006 - but despite her wedding on the horizon next year, she insists she has no plans on retiring.

"It is weird," Ennis added. "It does feel like the world is going to end after the Olympics. It is such a big build-up and a lot of things will change because it is the pinnacle and people will retire, and younger athletes will come through.

"I am not retiring. I know I want to carry on. You have to make the most of your athletic career. If it's gone well probably I will wish I am back here (in Monte Gordo) and it is all beginning again, but it has been stressful getting ready so I will give a big sigh of relief and go on holiday."