Athletics

Jessica Ennis-Hill steps up recovery - KJT sparkles at Anniversary Games

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Jessica Ennis-Hill stepped-up her recovery at the London Anniversary Games today (Saturday), but it was Katarina Johnson-Thompson who had a day to remember 12 months after the Olympic opening ceremony was being held in the same stadium.

Often regarded as the future star behind the heptathlon gold medalist, Johnson-Thompson showed that she's becoming a legitimate contender on the world stage after coming first in the long jump in the Diamond League event.

Whilst Usain Bolt and Mo Farah - who also won on the day - have been taking most of the headlines, this moment could be significant in Johnson-Thompson's progression towards an eventual crack at gold in Rio.

That remains three-years away of course, and KJT was much happier to focus on the now rather than looking into the future.

“It’s only my second Diamond League appearance. My first one was in the indoors so it’s great to do well," said Johnson-Thompson after the event.

“Long jump’s my best event and this place is my favourite track to compete at. It feels exactly the same as last year, just not the same pressure because I’ve just got the long jump. I feel like I just need to build up to more competitions like this and compete on the world scene.

“For Moscow I just want to be consistent in each event. I’m not looking to set the world alight but hopefully I can have a good run.” 

Moscow will be hosting the World Championships in under a fortnight, and Johnson-Thompson could still be joined by Ennis-Hill after she continued her progress on return from an Achilles injury.

The 26-year-old appeared to be holding back in the long jump, with an effort of 6.16m well below her personal best and only good enough for last place.

However, the 100m hurdles offered much more room for encouragement, with Ennis-Hills finishing fourth in a time of 13.08 seconds. Olympic champion Sally Pearson was the winner, with Great Britain's Tiffany Porter finishing second.

The Sheffield athlete was able to find positives in the performance, and whilst she was disappointed with her overall fitness, things appear to be moving in the right direction. She is yet to decide if she'll travel to Russia, however.

"It's amazing to be back in the stadium and just having everyone's support is incredible," Ennis-Hill told reporters after the event.

"I'm just disappointed that I'm not in the shape and the fitness that I need to be in. It's hard because obviously it's only a couple of weeks until the worlds. I'm running out of time a bit.

"I haven't decided about the World Championships yet. I need to speak to my coach and have a think."

Coach Toni Minichiello was a little more positive, believing another run for his athlete could put her back to where she needs to be for a major event such as the Worlds.

"It's where you'd expect her to start a season, not being an out-and-out hurdler," he concluded.

"I hope it's ring-rust, but there's a need for another race before Moscow. You'd want a time of round about 12.8 and that's do-able."

Topics:
Katarina Johnson-Thompson
Jess Ennis
Athletics

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