As Jessica Ennis-Hill gears-up for her return to top class action in the Athletics World Championships this coming week, it's not just the high class opposition that she has to contend with now. Leaving her young son at home while she travels to compete in Beijing, is also proving to be a challenge.
We haven't seen much of the 29-year-old heptathlon ace since she won Olympic gold in London 2012. Having giving birth to her son last July, followed by her progression back to full fitness, she hasn't been left with much time for competitive action. But her return to London's Olympic stadium last month for the Anniversary Games was a timely one with the World Championships commencing this weekend.
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While speaking to BBC Sport about leaving her son, she stated: "One of the hardest things. I want to make it worthwhile and him proud as well. I didn't want to bring him all the way here, it is quite a long flight and with the smog and climate."
Ennis-Hill will be hoping to emulate other supermoms who have returned successfully to their sport after childbirth. She can take confidence from the likes of tennis player Kim Clijsters, who came back two years after leaving her sport to start a family, winning three more grand slams in the process. Closer to home London's golden girl has to look no further than Paula Radcliffe, who won the 2007 New York marathon just nine months after giving birth.
Athletics in need of a positive week
Unfortunately, leaving her son at home is not the only thing that has been worrying Ennis-Hill recently. With the run-up to the 2015 World Championships being marred by accusations of widespread drug use in the sport, she said: "It is depressing. It is really important to get the message out there that there are so many athletes who train incredible hard," and, "not get get caught up in the horrible, awful news at the moment."
Ennis-Hill is not alone when it comes to wanting to get a positive message out to the world about the sport of athletics again. Elite performers such as Usain Bolt and Mo Farah have also emphasised how saddened they are with the doping focus on their sport.
The World Championships will be contested from August 22-30 in Beijing's Birdcage stadium.
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