Sotherton backs Ennis for Games glory

28 May 2012 / 11:35

Kelly Sotherton has backed Jessica Ennis to win heptathlon gold at this summer's Olympics.

Ennis set a British record score of 6,906 points - 75 more than Denise Lewis's previous British record mark and 83 in excess of her own personal best - at the Hypo meeting in Gotzis over the weekend.

"I think she will (get gold). It's going to be tricky but I think she's got every attribute to win gold," Sotherton told BBC Radio Five Live. "She looks like she's coming good at just the right time, she got a personal best at the weekend and beat Denise Lewis's British record. She's such a strong personality and having that home crowd is only going to help her."

Sotherton, Ennis's predecessor as Britain's heptathlon golden girl, publicly announced her retirement on Sunday after injury ended her bid to qualify for London.

She added: "I had prolapsed discs two years ago and it was always a 50-50 chance of me making the Olympics. I had to make sure I gave myself the chance of making it, I didn't want to have any regrets.

"I probably could have just run (the 400 metres) this year and been safer, and could maybe have just scraped into the team for the relay, but it wouldn't have been what I wanted to do.

"I find just doing one event a bit boring. When you've had a life of doing seven events, it's less interesting just running round a track.

"I used to run 800 and do long jump, I thought I might be the only one in the world who'd ever do that combination!"

Retirement brings the curtain down on a career highlighted by bronze medals at the Athens Olympics and the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, and a Commonwealth title in Melbourne in 2006.

In the pentathlon, Sotherton won silver at the World Indoors in Valencia in 2008 to go with European Indoor silvers in Madrid from 2005 and Birmingham from 2007.