Ennis still has something to prove in heptathlon

LONDON Thu Aug 9, 2012 7:54am EDT

People walk past posters of gold medal winning British athlete Jessica Ennis, the day after she won the heptathlon event at the London 2012 Olympic Games August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

People walk past posters of gold medal winning British athlete Jessica Ennis, the day after she won the heptathlon event at the London 2012 Olympic Games August 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Dylan Martinez

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LONDON (Reuters) - A fear of failure and a desire to win the one title missing from her collection will keep Jessica Ennis from giving up the heptathlon and becoming a specialist hurdler in the near future, the Olympic champion said.

Ennis's golden heptathlon campaign included a scorching 100 meters hurdles time of 12.54 seconds, the same time Dawn Harper ran to win 100 meters hurdles gold at the Beijing Olympics.

It prompted questions about whether the 26-year-old multi-eventer would chose to walk away from the physically punishing heptathlon to become a specialist hurdler.

"I have always said that I would like to give hurdles a go but I didn't want to go and do an event where I am not making semi-finals and finals and not being one of the best in the world," Ennis, who opted not to run the hurdles in London, told reporters.

"It would be hard to go from that level to go back down again...

"I have not won the Commonwealth Games and I think that would be lovely to do, but it is a weird feeling that I cannot imagine not doing the heptathlon.

"I feel like I have a little bit more to do; it would be great to break the 7,000-points barrier. At the moment I am just enjoying it and not quite sure what the future will hold."

The next Commonwealth Games take place in Glasgow in 2014 and Ennis appreciates that the heptathlon is likely to take its toll on her body over time.

"I think most heptathletes get to a point where the body goes and they start picking up a lot of injuries. But until I get to that stage I will just keep pushing it and pushing it," she said.

At that point, the hurdles could provide her with a means to prolong her career.

"I think that (hurdles) is something I will ultimately do in the future, but I am not sure when. I think I have to give it a proper go first and see if I am going to be good enough."

(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Mark Meadows)

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