JESSICA Ennis-Hill is distraught to be missing the upcoming World Championships, but knows injury would have prevented her from succeeding in Russia.
A year on from securing the Olympic crown in such stunning fashion, the 27-year-old had hoped to add another world title to her collection next month.
Ennis-Hill was named in the original British squad for Moscow, but was yesterday forced to pull out of the championships due to Achilles and heel pain.
She did manage to compete in the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games last weekend but was some way below her best – a performance that helped her to make yesterday’s decision.
“Up until now we have been focusing on managing the pain so I can train and get myself in shape to go out there to win in Moscow, which has meant not focusing on finding a cure for the injury,” Ennis-Hill said.
“The time has now come to stop chasing fitness and look to cure the problem.
“I am so glad I got to compete in London last weekend as it gave me a clear picture of where I am – and it is definitely not where I want to be both regarding pain and also form. To say I am gutted is an understatement – no athlete likes to miss the opportunity to compete at a major championships, they don’t come round that often.”
The Sheffield athlete won the World Championship title in Berlin four years ago before taking silver at Daegu 2011 after being pipped by Tatyana Chernova, who will be unable to defend her crown due to a knee injury.
Despite the Russian’s absence, Ennis-Hill did not feel she could be competitive in Moscow and, together with her coach Toni Minichiello and medical team, made the decision to pull out.
“It’s not been the easiest or simplest of decisions,’’ said Minichiello. “The pain management did improve and Jessica was able to compete in London, but the next few days have not seen enough improvement that would have made completing the two day, seven events of the heptathlon possible.
“I’ve also had to consider if competing at the world championships would have caused further damage, making any rehab more difficult. There are nine global medals up for grabs over the next three years not including Moscow. So a long term view has been taken.”
Ennis-Hill will now spend the next week to ten days doing basic rehabilitation exercises and Minichiello will talk to a couple of doctors and her physio about how to best get her back. “The next aim will be to unload the Achilles for a week or so and during this time gather more opinions about all possible recovery strategies,” he said.
“After which I will pull the team together to examine the way forward, but also examine how it happened in the hope we can avoid this going forward.
“The aim will be that any recovery process will make an indoor season possible in 2014.”
Ennis-Hill was the final athlete British Athletics was waiting on ahead of Moscow after Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford was added to the squad on Monday, having proved his fitness after a hamstring injury. “I know this has been a tough decision for Toni and Jess but I feel it is the right one with the long-term view,” performance director Neil Black said of yesterday’s decision.
“They’ve worked hard to bring her to a point where she was close to competing and it was great to see her in action last weekend, but no-one wants to see her competing in pain, and we look forward to seeing her wear the Great Britain and Northern Ireland vest again in 2014.”