LONDON 2012: Jessica Ennis relishing top-dog status

Ennis relishing top-dog status as British star sets sights on gold

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UPDATED:

09:35 GMT, 27 April 2012

Golden girl: Ennis is among the favourites to win in London

Golden girl: Ennis is among the favourites to win in London

Jessica Ennis knows silver will not do for the golden girl of the London Olympics, but she also knows there are far worse things than coming second.

The heptathlete will take on Tatyana Chernova and Nataliya Dobrynska, her conquerors at the last two global championships, for the last time before the Games in Gotzis next month, and another defeat would cast more doubt on her chances of becoming Olympic champion.

The Austrian venue is also the place where, four years ago, Ennis discovered the stress fractures in her right foot that ruled her out of the Beijing Olympics and threatened her career.

'I do think back to that year but I don't think back to that time in Gotzis and how I felt because that was a horrible feeling,' said 26-year-old Ennis, who will compete in a high-class 100 metres hurdles at the Manchester Great CityGames a week before Gotzis on May 20.

'I don't want to recreate that. I just think about how I came back from that and how much stronger I am. I dealt with a major setback, so the little setbacks I have or whatever happens, hopefully I can put it in perspective.'

Positive thinking: Ennis relishing the challenge of trying to live up to the hype

Positive thinking: Ennis relishing the challenge of trying to live up to the hype

Ennis responded to the 12-month lay-off by dominating the event in 2009 and 2010, winning world titles outdoors and indoors as well as the European Championships.

She went into last summer's World Championships in Daegu as the hot favourite for gold but was beaten by Chernova, while last month she lost her indoor title to Dobrynska.

But, while she may no longer be the undisputed top dog, Ennis is happy and healthy and relishing the challenge of trying to live up to the hype.

She said: 'I feel in a much happier place than I did at this time last year because, although I've picked up silver medals and not gold medals, I'm still competing and doing the training.

'Last year I wasn't able to do the European Indoors and then I missed a lot of training, and as an athlete that's the worst position to be in.

'Obviously you want to win but through not achieving what you've always wanted to achieve you learn a lot. If you're not there you don't really learn anything.

'I'm not the kind of athlete that is motivated by the worry of, 'oh I might come second or third'. I'm motivated by what I want to achieve. That's what drives me on.

'I think it's a bad place to be when you're thinking about the negatives. You're mind's very powerful and if you think about positive things and visualise positive things then they're more likely to happen. And likewise with negative things. You just don't want them in your mind.

'I definitely feel the pressure. I feel a lot of people are watching what I'm doing and how my training's going. But it's a good pressure, it means you're doing something right.'