Ennis makes flying start in Istanbul

09 March 2012 / 10:18

Jessica Ennis made the ideal start to the defence of her pentathlon title at the World Indoor Championships on Friday with a dominant performance in the opening event in Istanbul.

Ennis was first out of the blocks and powered to victory in the 60 metre hurdles in 7.91 seconds, her second fastest time ever and just 0.04secs outside her personal best set in Birmingham last month.

That gave the 26-year-old 1150 points and an 86-point lead over main rival Tatyana Chernova, the woman who took her world outdoor title in Daegu last summer, who was second in 8.29s.

"I'm really pleased, it's my second fastest time ever," Ennis said. "I needed to put down a good time, I knew Chernova's been running well this year, but there was a bit of a distance between us so that's good points. Hopefully that momentum can roll on into the next few events."

All five events of the pentathlon are crammed in on Friday, with Ennis set to compete in the high jump and shot this morning, with the long jump and 800m in the evening session.

Her performance continued an excellent opening morning with no British athlete so far failing to advance to the next stage of their event.

Veteran Yamile Aldama qualified for the final of the triple jump with her first jump of the competition, the 39-year-old recording a season's best of 14.62 metres to easily surpass the automatic qualifying mark of 14.30m.

And Shana Cox and Nadine Okyere then both advanced to the semi-finals of the 400m, although Okyere thought she was in danger of missing out after finishing third in her heat.

The first two in each heat and six fastest losers advanced to the semi-finals, but Okyere was spared an anxious wait when Brazil's Geisa Coutinho, who had finished second, was disqualified for running outside her lane.

Joe Thomas and Andrew Osagie also advanced to the semi-finals of the men's 800m, with Thomas winning his heat and Osagie going through as a fastest loser after finishing third in his race. European indoor champion Helen Clitheroe also made the final of the 3,000m as one of the fastest losers from the second heat.

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