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Jessica Ennis may go for two golds at 2012 Olympics

Jessica Ennis

Ennis won world heptathlon gold in style in Berlin last year

By Tom Fordyce

World heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis could yet go for two gold medals at the London Olympics if a request to 2012 organisers is accepted.

Ennis, who won in Austria on Sunday to underline her number one world ranking, is considering entering the 100m hurdles as well as the heptathlon.

But she will only do so if the 2012 timetable gives her time between events to recover and compete in good shape.

"You might as well give it your all in a home Olympics," said Ennis.

"I hope they'll be able to pull a few strings to let it happen."

Ennis entered both heptathlon and hurdles at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009, but with the heats of the hurdles coming only two days after she sealed heptathlon gold, she withdrew from the individual event citing exhaustion.

UK Athletics' head coach Charles van Commenee has passed on a request from Ennis and her coach Toni Minichiello to Locog, the organising committee for 2012, which is expected to finalise the athletics schedule over the next few months.

BBC Sport's Peter Scrivener

A London 2012 spokesperson told BBC Sport: "Discussions regarding the timetable of events during the London 2012 Games are still ongoing.

"The schedule will be determined by the International Olympic Committee, IAAF and Locog in conjunction with Olympic Broadcasting Services. A draft schedule will be submitted to the IOC later this year."

If the hurdles are scheduled too close to the heptathlon - at the last Olympics in Beijing, the semi-finals were held on the same day as the second day of the heptathlon - Ennis may even enter the individual high jump, in which she is joint British record-holder.

She may also have a chance of being included in the British 4x100m relay squad, with Tony Lester, UK Athletics' national event coach for women's sprints, considering her as an outside option.

If she only made the semi-finals of the hurdles, would that be viewed as an anti-climax?

Ennis' coach Toni Minichiello

But it is in the hurdles where Ennis would have her best chance of making an individual impact.

In January this year she beat former world indoor champion Lolo Jones to win the 60m hurdles in a British record of 7.95 seconds, while her personal best of 12.81 secs in the 100m hurdles would have seen her qualify for the final in Berlin.

Minichiello told BBC Sport: "Let's not lose sight of the fact that there's one main job to be done, the heptathlon. That's the focus. But if you're going to be at the party, why not enjoy yourself fully?

"This might be Jess's only Olympics. She missed Beijing with the stress fracture in her foot, and by the time 2016 comes round she'll be 30 years old.

"We're in someone else's hands, but it's all about options. If the heptathlon was held on the first two days in London, would she be able to get enough rest and privacy over the next five days to be in shape for the hurdles?

"If you fail to win the heptathlon, how do you deal with that before the hurdles? And if she only made the semi-finals of the hurdles, would that be viewed as an anti-climax?"

Ennis will concentrate solely on the heptathlon at this summer's European Championships.

The event is scheduled for days four and five in Barcelona, with the hurdles final due to take place just 20 minutes before the final event of the heptathlon, the 800m.

And the heptathlon at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu is due to be held on days three and four, which also leaves too little time for an athlete to double up over the hurdles.

Ennis held off a strong challenge from Russian Tatyana Chernova at the Gotzis Hypo-Meeting at the weekend to win with 6,689 points, falling just 142 points behind Denise Lewis's British record despite heavy rain and strong winds.

see also
Ennis wins but misses GB record
30 May 10 |  Athletics
Ennis will set record - Sotherton
27 May 10 |  Athletics
Ennis pips Ohuruogu in Manchester
16 May 10 |  Athletics
Ennis & Chambers win gold in Doha
13 Mar 10 |  Athletics
Ennis focusing on European Championships
22 Apr 10 |  Athletics
Superb Ennis wins heptathlon gold
16 Aug 09 |  Athletics

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