Jessica Ennis excels in Glasgow to keep Doha bid on course

JESSICA Ennis' determination to avoid being a "one-hit wonder" spurred her on in training following last year's World Championship heptathlon success.

The 24-year-old from Sheffield has made a strong start to the 2010 season, despite a media clamour for her attention and numerous public appearances post-Berlin.

Ennis said: "I wanted to go to functions and enjoy things after the worlds, but I still had my mind focused on this year and making sure that I got the work done so that I could perform year upon year and not be just a one-hit wonder."

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Now her ambitions of adding to the gold medal she claimed in the German capital at March's World Indoor Championships in Doha and at the summer's European Championships appear on course. Since the start of the year, Ennis has set personal bests in all of the five pentathlon disciplines she will contest in Doha and her latest achievements in Glasgow make her favourite to lift the title.

She claimed personal bests in the 60 metres hurdles and high jump as she thrilled the capacity crowd in Kelvin Hall yesterday at the Aviva International match.

The multi-eventer first roared down the runway to upset Lolo Jones, the reigning world indoor hurdles champion, in a British record and world leading time for the year of 7.95 seconds.

Then in an equally high-quality high jump competition, Ennis came second on countback to former world silver medallist Chaunte Howard.

In the process the Briton narrowly missed Debbie Marti's 13-year-old national mark by a centimetre with a clearance of 1.94 metres.

The displays have buoyed her confidence for Doha, where she will meet Olympic gold and silver medal winners Nataliya Dobrynska and Hyleas Fountain.

Indeed, Fountain, who missed Berlin after injuring herself at the United States team trials, showed she is back to her best after posting a world leading pentathlon score for the season of 4,731 points in Pennsylvania on Friday.

Ennis was aware of Fountain's outstanding tally before the action got under way in Glasgow and her response will send a clear message to all her rivals that she is ready for her world indoors debut.

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Ennis added: "I feel in really good shape and it's just about staying healthy and carrying on my preparations for Doha and then going out there and doing it.

"My long jump still needs a bit of work to get it consistent but I'm happy with the way that's going and I'm really happy with my shot put as well. The 800m is just about hanging on for four laps."

Despite her thrilling hurdles win ahead of Jones, Ennis insisted she has no intention of doubling up with the pentathlon in Doha, where all five events will be staged on the same day.

Ennis said: "No. I'd be too tired. Definitely not. It's too close – there's not enough time."

But, after lowering her lifetime best from 8.12secs and beating Jones, it is a memory she will savour.

"I can't believe I won, to be honest," Ennis admitted. "I know you should always come and expect to win, but I was just aiming to have a quality race and push my personal best. Lolo Jones is a fantastic sprinter and hurdler and to beat her is really nice. Maybe she had a bit of an off day.

"I would have been really happy with eight zero something, so sneaking under eight seconds was really nice."

Ennis was more than happy with her display in the high jump too and insists there is more to come in the next few weeks.

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"I've had some really good attempts at 1.96m now," she said. "I've felt the height and if I'm going to get it anywhere, I'd rather get it in Doha so I'll be saving it for there." Ennis has no plans to challenge for it at the Aviva World Trials in her home city of Sheffield in a fortnight's time. She said: "No, it'll be Doha. I need the points. Points mean prizes."

UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee admitted he was delighted with not only Ennis but also the other Britons who performed well at the meeting.

Chris Tomlinson and Jenny Meadows – both medal hopefuls in Doha – were among those whose victories helped the hosts beat the United States by a narrow margin of three points in the annual match.

"She was outstanding," Van Commenee said of Ennis.

"Obviously if you have to pick one performance here then it has to be Jessica, especially in the hurdles.

"Winning and beating the world (indoor] champion, as a heptathlete, is extraordinary.

"But not only Jessica. There were a few others who gave some reason to be happy for the future."