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29th March 2012, 01:37pm

Ennis: Won't make wholesale changes

Ennis: Won't make wholesale changes

Jessica Ennis is not planning a radical overhaul of her Olympic preparations, despite the blow of surrendering two world titles in the last seven months.

The Sheffield heptathlete, installed as one of the faces of the summer games, was unable to successful defend her World Championship and World Indoor titles in Daegu and Istanbul respectively.

She did produce a number of stellar performances across both events - setting four and matching one personal bests - but was still forced to settle for second place on the podium behind her two London rivals in Tatyana Chernova and Nataliya Dobrynska.

The pair took it in turns to take advantage of Ennis' sub-standard performances in first the javelin and then the long jump, leading to suggestions in some quarters that the 26-year-old may look to draft in help to work alongside long-serving coach Toni Minichiello in a bid to tackle her problem areas.

But, rather than pressing the panic button, Ennis insists the duo are more than prepared to cope with their latest challenge.

"You don't want to change too many things," she said at an event to promote Powerade's 'On Your Marks' competition, which will give winners the chance to race in the Olympic Stadium before any of the athletes in May.

"You have to work on slightly different things but you don't want to change your whole training programme. You have to believe that it's the right thing you're doing and keep doing it.

"Toni always gets input from other coaches as well to further his knowledge and that's something we've always done. It's just about believing in what I'm doing, getting the sessions done and making sure they're quality."

Ennis' need to improve in the javelin and long jump is clear, especially in light of Chernova and Dobrynska's recent acts of defiance.

For a long time it had appeared as though Ennis had a free reign over her event, until the two proven performers decided to strike back.

And, although the British public may have thought a gold medal was already reserved for Ennis, she has always known it was never going to be that straightforward.

"Obviously with the home games the public want to get behind the British athletes, which is great, but it is an Olympic games and the standard is so high," she said.

"It's never going to be an easy ask to qualify for the Olympics, let alone win a gold medal, it's one of the toughest things you can do.

"It is a tough ask, but it's something I'm willing to give 100% effort and see what I can do."

Ennis spent a week on holiday after her efforts in Istanbul, but has now returned to training and is currently part-way through a five-week block in her home city.

The mid-term goal is to compete at an IAAF event in Gotzis in May - where Chernova and Dobrynska will both be - and her hope is that her game plan will be almost complete by then.

"There's definitely enough time to work on things," she added.

"There are no major things to change, just a little bit of tinkering to certain events and a little bit of extra work, but I've got a block of five weeks for training, I've done a week and a half and already feel like I've done five weeks, so there is a lot of work you can do.

"Gotzis will be the best indication of how the summer is going to pan out. All the heptathletes will be there. I want to go there and do as best as I can and then come back and make any changes for the Olympics."

The media glare is being gradually turned up on all the British athletes ahead of the Games, with Tom Daley - another unofficial face of the event - already having had to defend himself over claims he had the wrong balance between work and personal appearances.

Ennis, though, believes that provided their training plans are in place, all home-nation competitors have the right to enjoy their moments in the spotlight.

"I think it's a unique situation this year," she said.

"Having a home Olympics is a great thing to have and as an athlete you have to make the most of these opportunities because they're once-in-a-lifetime but, at the same time, we are athletes and first and foremost we want to win as many medals as possible and be the best we can be. We need to get that balance, which I think the athletes are getting."


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