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Page last updated at 13:32 GMT, Monday, 17 August 2009 14:32 UK

Ennis relieved after painful year

Take a look back at the BBC series Olympic Dreams as Ennis first confronts the injury problems that eventually ruled her out of the 2008 Olympics

Venue: Olympic Stadium, Berlin Date: 15-23 August
Coverage: Watch the action live and highlights on BBC Two, BBC HD, Red Button, Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website (video for UK users only)
Full BBC coverage details

Britain's new world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis has admitted she thought she may not compete again after missing the Beijing Olympics through injury.

The 23-year-old pulled out of last year's event after suffering a stress fracture to her right ankle.

She told BBC Radio 5 live: "When I found out about my injury I was worried it might not heal 100% and I would have problems with it in the future.

"But after the scans it started to heal and I realised it was going to be ok."

The Sheffield athlete had originally pulled out of an IAAF event in Gotzis with a foot injury in June 2008, before the full extent of the problem was discovered and she was forced to miss the Olympics.

Ennis reflects on Heptathlon success

The ankle problem prompted Ennis to change her take-off foot for the long jump, making her victory all the more special.

"I needed to put all my effort and energy in to the World Championships this year," she added.

"It was about winning a medal so to win a gold medal is unbelievable."

Meanwhile, UK Athletics has hit back at suggestions that it hindered the progress of Ennis.

Ennis' coach Toni Minichiello claimed the 23-year-old's support team had been "decimated" and that UKA was to blame.

But UKA chairman Ed Warner told BBC Radio 5 live: "We've worked very hard to make sure Jess was in the best shape for Berlin and it has worked.

"I think this was Toni feeling some of the pressure ahead of the competition."


In an interview with The Times on Saturday, Minichiello heavily criticised the way UKA acted while Ennis was sidelined.

"I've just lost a nutritionist, a physiologist and a performance analyst. It's a UK Athletics thing," he said.

"They changed the way they deliver services and some people had very foreshortened contracts. There was no guarantee of jobs.

"The nutritionist went to hockey, the performance analyst went to cricket and Steve Ingham took over as EIS (English Institute of Sport) lead physiologist, so won't be working directly in athletics.

Ennis elated after 'best year ever'

"Three years out from 2012 and there are no obvious replacements.

"People in power make decisions and you have to react. I am sure a lot of people will draw kudos if she wins, but they say success has many friends but failure is an orphan."

Warner, however, believes UKA gave Ennis the best chance of winning gold in Berlin and insists the governing body is working hard to ensure a steady stream of success in the future.

"What we're trying to put in place is a system that will not only support Jess Ennis today but also all the other athletes that are coming through," he said.

"Toni understands that and I think he's very grateful for the support that we've given Jess and the lottery has given her over recent years.

"What you'll see is a better system in place for her to be kept injury free and to get to the start line in 2012 in best shape."

Warner added: "We paid for Jess' physio to be in the most important place, that was the training camp in Portugal in the couple of weeks leading up to the games.

"I think we all understand each other and are working well together."

Highlights - Ennis wins heptathlon gold

see also
Superb Ennis wins heptathlon gold
16 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Ennis on edge of greatness
14 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Ennis injury ends Beijing dream
02 Jun 08 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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