SHE’S the most famous face of female sport in Britain – and now Jess Ennis has confirmed that she plans to compete at Glasgow 2014.
• Jessica Ennis will compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
• Hepathlete won bronze in Melbourne early in her career but did not compete in India four years later
The Olympic heptathlon gold medallist has never won the Commonwealth Games title and plans to fly the flag for England when the competition returns to Scotland.
Ennis won bronze in Melbourne as a youngster and missed out on Delhi four years ago when she decided against travelling to India.
And now her long-standing coach, Toni Minichiello, has revealed the golden girl of London 2012 fancies a shot at glory at Hampden.
“Jessica will be at Glasgow 2014 – definitely,” said Minichiello, who was in Glasgow last weekend for the International Festival of Athletics Coaching (IFAC).
“That is absolutely the competition plan for us looking ahead. She has not won the Commonwealth title before. She was the bronze medallist in Melbourne in 2006 when still quite young and didn’t travel to Delhi two years ago.
“It will not be easy in Glasgow, either. There are Canadians and Australians who can step up to the mark there so it will be good competition.
“It is tight in terms of the schedule with Glasgow 2014 coming about a fortnight before the European Championships but we certainly intend to come to Scotland.
“In fact, I’ve already said to Jessica she should delay her retirement in order to take in the Commonwealth Games in 2018 – but perhaps that’s because I would quite like a trip to the Gold Coast in Australia!’
Ennis has just been named European Female Athlete of the Year in one poll and the one woman who may rival her for the IAAF title in that category for 2012 (announced in Barcelona later this month) is Australian sprint hurdler Sally Pearson.
Pearson’s coach, Sharon Hannan, also attended the IFAC conference last weekend and, in a further massive boost for Glasgow 2014, insisted her star athlete will come to these shores to compete. World and Olympic champion Pearson won the IAAF Female Athlete of the Year award for 2011 but is also intent on a crack at the Commonwealth Games.
Hannan said: “The Commonwealth Games are still major for Australia. I was disappointed when Jamaica didn’t send their A team to Delhi and those who did travel didn’t bring their A game, either.
“It is absolutely in our plans for Sally to come to Glasgow 2014 and defend her Commonwealth Games title. She has a little bit of a back problem at the moment but will get that rectified and hopes to be at Moscow for the World Champs next summer. Then we will think about Scotland.”