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Page last updated at 18:04 GMT, Monday, 2 June 2008 19:04 UK

Ennis injury ends Beijing dream

Jessica Ennis
Ennis was one of Team GB's medal hopes for the Olympics

British heptathlete Jessica Ennis will miss the Beijing Olympics with a stress fracture to her right ankle, UK Athletics has confirmed.

The 22-year-old was forced to pull out of an IAAF event at the weekend with the problem and the consequent scan revealed the extent of the damage.

"I'm obviously upset with the results and I'm gutted to be missing out on my first Olympics," she said.

"Injury is part of a heptathlete's life - I'm determined to make a recovery."

UK Athletics Performance Director Dave Collins said: "This is nothing but terrible luck and is a sickening blow for Jess. Obviously with the Olympic Games just a matter of weeks away, the timing could not have been more cruel.

"I have every confidence that Jess has the physical ability, talent and mental toughness to move on from this and look forward to a long and successful career in the sport. We are all gutted for her."

Ennis was strongly fancied for a medal at this summer's Olympics having finished fourth at last year's World Championships in Osaka.

And this season the Sheffield athlete had already set personal bests in the shot and javelin - two of the seven heptathlon disciplines.

I can't even begin to imagine how Jess must be feeling now

Kelly Sotherton on team-mate Ennis

Ennis' coach Toni Minichiello said he was left shocked by the news.

"I'm deeply, deeply disappointed by what the scans have shown us," he added.

"There was nothing in Jessica's training or in her personal best performances that we've seen over the last few weeks to indicate that an injury of this nature was present.

"Jess is still only 22 years old and has a long athletics career that will sadly not include the 2008 Olympics but will include London 2012 and the 2016 Games."

Fellow heptathlete and British team-mate Kelly Sotherton said it was a "cruel blow" for Ennis.


"I'm utterly speechless. I can't even begin to imagine how Jess must be feeling now; I know that I would be devastated," said the Olympic bronze medallist.

"This is a really cruel blow for her and I'm so sorry that she won't be out competing with me in Beijing but she is a strong athlete and I wish her all the very best for a speedy recovery."

Ennis' injury is the latest setback for Britain's Olympic track and field hopefuls.

Sotherton has only just recovered from a kidney complaint that saw her miss the weekend competition in Gotzis event, although she is adamant she will compete in Beijing.

Paula Radcliffe is a doubt with a thigh injury while Mark Lewis-Francis has been ruled out with an Achilles problem.

And world 400m silver medallist Nicola Sanders is suffering from a knee injury and is not expected to compete in her opening race of the year over the distance in Osaka on Sunday.

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see also
Sotherton eyes up track for 2012
30 May 08 |  Athletics

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