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Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Thursday, 8 July 2010 17:16 UK

Jessica Ennis fit to run in UK leg of Diamond League

DIAMOND LEAGUE MEETING: British Grand Prix
Date: Saturday, 10 July Venue: Gateshead Stadium
Coverage: BBC Two 1630-1930 BST, BBC Sport website (UK users only) and updates on BBC Radio 5 live


Jessica Ennis
Ennis says she is now fully fit after a bout of illness

Jessica Ennis heads the home challenge in Saturday's British Grand Prix as the Diamond League comes to the United Kingdom for the first time.

The 24-year-old world heptathlon champion has shaken off the virus and inner ear problem that forced her to miss two weeks' training.

"I am fully better now," said Ennis, who will compete in the 200m and javelin in Gateshead.

Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay are set to go head-to-head in the men's 100m.

Jamaican Powell, the world's fastest man in 2010 with a time of 9.82 seconds, stated: "Gay's a great competitor but you know I'm there to compete and I'm there to win, so I definitely do not focus on any one person, or anything like that.

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"There are a lot more guys in the race and I just want to be the one who is on top.

"This will be my third time competing in Gateshead.

"The first time I ran in Gateshead, in 2006, I clocked a world record time [9.77 secs] and then I was back there again in 2008. I love running there, it's fabulous competing with such big Jamaican support there in the UK."

The Diamond League is a 14-date series that replaces the Golden League and has a number of events outside Europe, including competitions in Shanghai and New York.

It visits Great Britain twice, with Saturday's event at Gateshead followed by a two-day Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on 13 and 14 August.

Many of the British athletes on show in Gateshead will be using the event as part of their build-up to the European Championships, which take place in Barcelona from 27 July to 1 August.

Sheffield athlete Ennis, who will captain the British team in Barcelona, has had to alter her training plans because of her illness but does not expect to be too far off her best.

"It's not like an injury where you can do certain bits. I couldn't do anything for those two weeks, so I have missed a little bit," she reflected.

On the day, whoever is the best athlete will win, and hopefully I am there

Martyn Rooney on the European Championships

"But I don't think I have missed that much that it is going to affect my performance too much.

"I wouldn't say I have no fear. I am definitely nervous and you never know what to expect at a championships.

"I am going in there thinking everyone is going to be in great shape and performing at their best, so hopefully there will be no massive surprises."

Men's 400m runner Martyn Rooney will also be hoping to use Gateshead as a stepping stone to success in Barcelona.

The 23-year-old Croydon athlete, who was a finalist at the 2008 Beijing Games, is in good form having twice dipped under the 45-second barrier this year.

"I am going into every race to win it, and nothing will change when I go to the Europeans," said Rooney, who will race against compatriot Michael Bingham in Gateshead.

"I can be quite a confident person and it's no different this year. I am going into the championships knowing I have beaten all the Europeans comfortably.

"On the day, whoever is the best athlete will win, and hopefully I am there."



see also
Ennis focusing on European Championships
22 Apr 10 |  Athletics
Ennis misses trials with a virus
25 Jun 10 |  Athletics
Ennis 'honoured' to captain GB team
29 Jan 10 |  Athletics
Ennis eyes Olympics double tilt
01 Jun 10 |  Athletics
Jessica Ennis wins gold in Berlin
17 Aug 09 |  England
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics


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