Jessica Ennis-Hill is focused on the heptathlon — not the 100m hurdles — as she trains to return to competition next summer after giving birth to her first child in July.
“I love the hurdles, and I still want to give that a serious go, but I’m training for the heptathlon for now and really focusing on that,” Ennis-Hill told Sky Sports. “I’m hoping to get a really good qualifying score for the Rio Games and take it from there, but I’m not pushing things too soon.”
Ennis-Hill, who resumed training in October, said in May that she had thought about going for the Rio Olympics in the 100m hurdles.
Ennis-Hill won the 2012 Olympic heptathlon with a Great Britain record 6,955 points and a whopping 306-point victory margin. The highest score in the world since then was 6,682 by Brit Katarina Johnson-Thompson in June.
Ennis-Hill has never contested the individual 100m hurdles at a World Championships or Olympics, though the hurdles are part of the seven-event heptathlon program.
Ennis-Hill owned the British record of 12.54 seconds in the 100m hurdles until Tiffany Porter broke it Sept. 14. Ennis-Hill’s top time of 12.54 would have placed fourth at the London Olympics and tied the gold-medal time at the Beijing Olympics.
Ennis-Hill, 28, has barely competed since her London Olympic triumph. She got married in May 2013, missed last year’s World Championships in the summer with an Achilles injury and announced her pregnancy in January.
If she focused on the hurdles, she wouldn’t be the first Olympic multi-event champion to seriously take on an individual event. Jackie Joyner-Kersee won three Olympic medals each in the heptathlon and the long jump. Reigning Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton ran the 400m hurdles this past season.
If Ennis-Hill sticks to the heptathlon for Rio 2016, she will try to join Joyner-Kersee as the only multiple Olympic gold medalists in the event.