Heptathlete Jessica Ennis, who won gold at the 2009 World Championships and 2010 European Athletics Championships, has made a fantastic start to the season with a world-leading performance in the 60m hurdles at the Aviva International Match in Glasgow on Saturday 30th January.
Ennis beat the American hurdler and 2010 world indoor champion Lolo Jones to run a time of 7.97. This is just short of her British record of 7.95, which she ran at the same event last year. “I ran 7.95 last year and I knew I was in good shape so to come here and do that again shows I’ve done the right things over the winter” commented Ennis, adding “it’s good to beat [Lola] again.” She then went on to jump 6.83m in the long jump and finished behind Germany’s Nadja Kather who won with a jump of 6.58m. With the European Athletics Indoor Championships coming up in only 5 weeks time, this performance should serve as a great morale and confidence boost.
The 2011 European Indoor Athletics Championships are to be held in Paris at the Palais Omnisport Paris-Bercy from the 4th– 6th March. Following the success of the European Athletics Championships, which were held in Barcelona last summer, this indoor competition is awaited with much excitement. It is expected that around 700 athletes from nearly 50 different countries will be competing at the Championships. Ennis has said that she is “really pleased. I love competing here it always goes really well. It’s a great track to run on.” So she is definitely going to be one to watch in March.
However it wasn’t just Ennis who showed potential ahead of the championships, her team mate, Jenny Meadows had a fantastic win in the women’s 800m with a time of 2:01.17 after leading the race from the start. Fellow Great British athlete Helen Clitheroe also led from start to finish in the 3000m and won with a stadium record of 8:52.31. Mark Lewis Francis the 2010 European Athletics 100m silver medallist, won the men’s 60m in 6.66. And in the 60m hurdles Britain’s 2010 European Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games 110m hurdles gold medallist Andy Turner finished second behind American star David Oliver.
With so many great British performances so early in the season, the European Indoor Athletics Championships are looking to be a showcase of brilliant performances from UK athletes.