Lewis backs Ennis gold mission

14 April 2012 / 07:31

Denise Lewis believes Jessica Ennis is "primed" to emulate her and claim Olympic heptathlon gold in London this summer.

Lewis, who triumphed at the 2000 Games in Sydney, concedes the Sheffield athlete has room for improvement but has backed her to ascend the top step of the podium on home soil. Ennis faces stiff competition from the likes of reigning Olympic heptathlon champion Nataliya Dobrynska and world heptathlon champion Tatyana Chernova.

"She's ready to go, she's primed. She's got a few good championships under her belt," said Lewis, who is one of UPS' London 2012 ambassadors. "People are concerned about her Olympic experience and the fact she hasn't been to a Games before, but I think she can really surprise and come away with the gold medal."

She added: "There's been so much hype about whether she will win.

"She is the face of London but sensibly she knows you're not just granted a gold medal, and she's got some formidable competitors that are equally talented enough to get that gold medal."

Lewis does see a need for 26-year-old Ennis to tighten up in a number of disciplines, however.

"There's room for improvement," she added.

"I don't think Jess is at her best yet, even though she's put down some remarkable performances in hurdles and high jump.

"The biggest improvement I think will come hopefully in the long jump. I think it's a key event for her, along with the javelin."