Jessica Ennis-Hill insists she feels no pressure ahead of her long-awaited return at this weekend’s Great CityGames in Manchester.
After nearly two years away, Olympic heptathlon champion Ennis-Hill will return to action on Saturday as she competes in the 100m hurdles.
Since her last competition – the 2013 Anniversary Games – Ennis-Hill has given birth to her first son, Reggie, while her compatriots have gone from strength to strength.
Ennis-Hill will face some of them on Saturday as British record holder Tiffany Porter and European Indoor medallists Lucy Hatton and Serita Solomon take to the start line.
But despite such strong opposition Ennis-Hill admits it will just be good to back out on the track again.
Ennis-Hill told British Athletics: “I do feel a little bit like ‘what am I doing?’ but it’s going to be a really fast race, I’m coming back into a really good field.
“It’s a good environment with a nice fast track and hopefully the weather will be OK. So I feel that I’ve just got to get back into it and see where I am and have a benchmark for something I can work on throughout the season.
“I don’t feel as much pressure because I feel that I’ve had my amazing year of being the poster girl and achieving essentially my dreams.
“Now obviously Kat’s [Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s] here and she’s doing so well, I just want to get back into competing and give myself a really fair go of having a child and coming back and trying to be successful.
“I don’t want to look at this time and think ‘why didn’t I give it a proper go’. I’m happy to keep my head down and focus on what I want to achieve.”
Fellow heptathlete and European Indoor pentathlon gold medallist Katarina Johnson-Thompson will also be in action, lining up in the 200m hurdles where she will go head-to-head with European 400m hurdles champion Eilidh Child and last year’s winner Meghan Beesley .
Greg Rutherford jumped 8.02m for victory last year in the long jump and the Olympic champion is focused on achieving the same result in what promises to be another spectacular event on Deansgate.
He said: “It’s the first competition of the year other than the one indoor race I did which was very unexpected so we’ll see how this goes.
“I’ve just got back from a long training trip which went fantastically well, probably the best training trip I’ve ever had, so I’ve come back really excited.
“For me it’s about going out there, sorting out that run up and making sure everything is on point and sticking out a decent distance.
“Obviously I still want to win and I’ll do what I need to do to come out there and take the win but it will be tough, we’ve got guys out there who are good well established long jumpers so it won’t be an easy competition.”
In the men’s 100m, world and European indoor champion Richard Kilty takes on teammate Chijindu Ujah and the evergreen Kim Collins.
© Sportsbeat 2015