Long jump a concern as Ennis targets Olympic heptathlon gold

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Jessica Ennis has already indicated that she is likely need a new British record if she is to win heptathlon gold in London and given her current long jump issues, she is up against it.

Ennis is 4/6 to win Olympic gold, despite coming out second best in her last two major finals, losing out to Tatyana Chernova at the World Championships in Daegu last year and then to Nataliya Dobrynska in Istanbul in March at the World Indoor Championships.

However, as one of Britain’s leading athletes, the pressure is on Ennis to lead the team in London in what will be her first Olympics after a foot injury caused her to miss Beijing four years ago.

She has currently enjoyed a promising 2012 on the whole, most notably when scoring 6,906 points in Austria last month, which eclipsed a 12-year record previously held by Denise Lewis.

This event included personal bests in the 200m, javelin and long jump and if she could match her lifetime best in all seven events in London, she would become just the fourth athlete ever to break the famed 7,000 points barrier.

Things went well for Ennis at the British trials, as she beat Tiffany Porter to win the 100m hurdles and then cleared 1.89m for a season’s best in the high jump.

But the long jump proved a problem on day two, as she only submitted a mark in one of her six jumps after issues with her run up.

And this jump was only 6.27m, a decent margin short of the 6.51m she managed in Austria.

Having now fouled in seven of her last 12 jumps, Ennis is going back to the drawing board just six weeks ahead of the Olympics, which is a bold move.

Ennis said: “I don’t know if I’m running quicker or a bit stronger, the runway’s not suiting me at the moment.

“I think it’s definitely to do with my rhythm and the way I’m attacking the board. We’ve just got to go away and work on it a bit.”

But she insists it is not a major problem and is optimistic of having correctly the problem by the start of next month when competing in Loughborough.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.