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SHEFFIELD STAR ENNIS ON TRACK IN 2012

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Aviva Indoor UK Trials and Championships 2012

10 February 2012

World Indoor champion Jessica Ennis says her 2012 preparation is running according to plan as she looks to secure back-to-back World Indoor crowns in Istanbul next month and Olympic gold in London this summer.

Speaking ahead of her appearance at this weekend’s Aviva Indoor UK Trials and Championships in her home town of Sheffield - an event at which she has experienced considerable success in the past – Ennis spoke of her satisfaction with her past four months of winter training as she enters the business end of the indoor season.

She said: “I feel like winter training has gone really well and I’m happy with the position that I’m in. [This weekend] I really want to get very sharp and hopefully go out there and produce something good. I enjoy doing the indoors and I like to see where I am with training.”

The Sheffield star will take on four events at the English Institute of Sport as she steps up preparations for the months ahead. Ennis will compete in the shot put and high jump on Saturday – the latter of which she has won three times in her career – before taking on the 60m hurdles and potentially also the long jump on Sunday.

She added: “It’s always great competing in Sheffield. I live just down the road and I train here most days so it’s all familiar and comfortable. The crowd really gets into the action and I enjoy competing with lots of local support behind me.

“This will be the second meet I will have competed in in Sheffield this month. Both have been carefully planned by my coach to fit in with exactly what I need to be doing at this time of year.”

Ennis will be joined in Sheffield by some of the country’s leading athletes, including fellow Olympic medal hopefuls Holly Bleasdale (pole vault), Hannah England (3000m) and Robbie Grabarz (high jump).

Following the Aviva Indoor UK Trials and Championships, Ennis will take to the track in the Aviva Grand Prix at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena on 18 February, competing in both the 60m hurdles and long jump events.

This precedes her trip to Istanbul to compete at the World Indoor Championships, where she is looking to retain her pentathlon title by seeing off the woman who took the World outdoor title from her in Daegu last summer, Tatyana Chernova.

ForEnnis, the Birmingham meet is the perfect opportunity to test herself against some of the world’s best athletes and says the event will go far in determining whether she will achieve her goal of World Indoor and Olympic triumphs this year.

“It will be a good competition,” said Ennis. “I’m going to be competing against her throughout the year and at the Olympics hopefully so it will be a great opportunity to see what shape she’s in. I’m looking forward to finishing off the season with a good battle.”

Despite the British public’s high expectations for Ennis in 2012, the 26-year-old remains pragmatic about the year ahead and has her sights set firmly on this weekend in Sheffield for the time being.

Ennis said: “I’m envisioning my journey to be quite up and down throughout the year. It would be great if everything went perfectly but realistically that’s not always the case so we’ll see. I’m just going to take each competition one at a time and build on things that I need to work on.” 

The Aviva Indoor UK Trials and Championships will be at the EIS in Sheffield on 11-12 February. Tickets are now sold out; for further event information go to uka.org.uk/aviva-series. The event will be shown live on Channel 4 from 2pm on 12 February.

The Aviva Grand Prix will be at the NIA in Birmingham on 18 February. Tickets are now sold out; for further event information go to uka.org.uk/aviva-series. The Aviva Grand Prix will be shown live on BBC 1 from 1pm.