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Page last updated at 13:41 GMT, Thursday, 17 February 2011

Kelly Sotherton wanted Jessica Ennis heptathlon test

Aviva UK Indoor Grand Prix
Venue: NIA, Birmingham Date: Saturday 19 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One and BBC Sport website (UK only) 1300-1630


Kelly Sotherton

'I wish I could take on Ennis' - Sotherton

Former GB heptathlete Kelly Sotherton says she would have loved to have been able to test herself against world champion Jessica Ennis.

Sotherton, 34, was forced to give up the event in 2010 following a string of injuries and now plans to compete in the 400m, aiming for London 2012.

She told BBC Sport: "It would have been fantastic, a fit Jess and a fit Kelly at their best.

"I wish I could do it but that's life. I can't dwell, I have to move forward."

She continued: "At my best I think it would have been tough. The javelin would have been the crucial event - she's excelled in that.

"I didn't have the head for it, I lose it. Maybe at my best it would have been down to the 800m and I'm a stronger 800m runner. It would have been close. Maybe I'd give Jess the edge."

I'm quite confident I can sneak in there and give the girls a run for their money

Kelly Sotherton

Sotherton, a heptathlon bronze medallist at the 2004 Athens Olympics, won her debut outing in the 400m at the UK Trials and Championships on Saturday with a season's-best time of 53.46 seconds.

But the Birchfield Harrier knows she will need to improve if she is to compete for a GB 400m place at the London Olympics in 2012.

"The 400m is a crowded event, especially in GB with Olympic champion [Christine Ohuruogu] and world silver medallist Nicola Sanders. It's a different, hard event and I have plenty of respect for the girls in it already.

"I've been out for two years with injury, it might not happen, but I'm quite confident I can sneak in there and give the girls a run for their money.

Sotherton will be competing at the Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday, 19 February in a bid to gain qualification for the European Indoor Championships in March.

Sotherton needs a time of 53 seconds, almost half a second quicker than her season's best, to be awarded a place at the championships in Paris.

"This year the aim is to get to next winter healthy with no major injury complaints. The aim is to make the World Championships [in Korea in August], at least get in the relay strike four, possibly pick up a medal, and enjoy my last year as an athlete going into London.

"I'm sure I will retire after the Olympics. It might change, but I'm 95% sure that I will. I want to enjoy the rest of my life and venture into being a normal person with new projects."



London 2012 - begin your journey here

see also
Ennis out of Birmingham meeting
16 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Williams' coach defends decision
14 Feb 11 |  Athletics


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