22nd December 2010

Jones Gearing Up For Ennis Rematch

Multi-event star Jessica Ennis is set for an unmissable rematch with world indoor hurdles champion Lolo Jones at the Aviva International Match in Glasgow next month.

The pair will go head-to-head over 60m hurdles at Kelvin Hall, ISA on 29 January, in a repeat of last year’s match-up in which Ennis came from behind to beat the world number one hurdles specialist in a time of 7.95secs, which was a new British record.

Last year’s contest  kick-started both athletes to memorable seasons, with Jones securing her second consecutive World Championships indoor gold in Doha in March and Ennis adding European heptathlon and World Indoor pentathlon victories to her existing World Championship title.

The Aviva International Match will be the first of two indoor Aviva Series head to heads for the duo, with them both lining up just a month later at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham’s NIA on 19 February.

And Ennis, 24, admits she is relishing the prospect of once again going up against the American hurdler, setting her up perfectly to build on the progress of 2010 by securing gold at the European Indoor Championships in Paris, in March.

Ennis said: “I’m well into my training now and looking forward to the indoor season, at least you know the snow can’t affect the track! It was a great start to the season this year, captaining the Aviva GB and NI team to our win at Kelvin Hall and I’d love to have the opportunity to do the same again.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year than with two wins in Glasgow and obviously the one over Lolo [Jones] received a lot of attention, but she is a hurdles specialist and because of that I don’t consider her as a direct competitor; it’s completely different. I’m looking forward to lining up in the hurdles again with her, but ultimately it is one of five events I am looking to fine-tune ahead of the European Indoor Championships.

“We’ve [Aviva GB and NI] had an amazing year, I’m so proud of everyone. From Doha to Barcelona it’s been a phenomenal year for athletics and I’m so pleased that I’ve been able to play my own part in its success. Here’s hoping we continue that into 2011.”

The competition in Glasgow will be only the third meeting for the pair, with scores currently tied at one a-piece; and 28-year-old Jones admits she is relishing the prospect of a rematch with Ennis and future return to Birmingham, the training base for the US track and field team ahead of the Olympics in 2012.

“I had a really close race with Jessica [Ennis] this year,” said Jones. “I know it’s going to be another exciting race.

“The Aviva International Match kick-started my season this year and I’m hoping that it will do the same in January. It’s always an amazing experience to compete for your country alongside your fellow home athletes and I’m really looking forward to pulling on that US kit again.

“Birmingham is a really great venue in terms of athletics and the Aviva Grand Prix is a great meet. There is always a world class field competing making it one of the best indoor events for the whole year.

“The city will be the base for the US track and field team during 2012 so it will be great to compete there, hopefully a couple of times next year, and get the home crowd supporting the international athletes.”

In Birmingham the 60m hurdles promises to be one of the stand-out events of the Aviva Grand Prix, with Jones and Ennis also joined by Olympic and world indoor bronze medallist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep. Tiffany Ofili will also make her debut as an Aviva GB and NI athlete, as part of the Commonwealth Team, at the Aviva International Match before lining up alongside Ennis in Birmingham.

Ennis will also compete in the long jump at the Aviva International Match as well, and then the 60m as well as the 60m hurdles at the Aviva Grand Prix.

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