Jessica Ennis-Hill to decide on Worlds after London meet

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Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill doesn’t want to compete at the World Track and Field Championships in August if she won’t “medal or perform to my best.”

“Nothing is guaranteed in sport, but I don’t want to travel all that way and not medal or perform to my best,” Ennis-Hill said, according to the BBC. “If I’m not quite ready the best thing would be to have a break and get ready for winter training.”

Ennis-Hill has said she wouldn’t decide if she will compete at Worlds in Beijing (Aug. 22-30, broadcast info here) until after next weekend’s Diamond League meet at London’s Olympic Stadium. She’s slated for the 100m hurdles on July 24 and the 200m and the long jump on July 25.

“In my mind I know what shape I need to be in to compete and contend for a medal at the Worlds, and I have a target for this weekend,” Ennis-Hill said, according to the BBC. “I hope to have the performances I am looking for in London and can go and compete for a medal in Beijing. Or, I hope that I know on Saturday night that I am not going to be in a position to compete and I don’t push on to the Worlds when I’m not quite ready.”

Ennis-Hill, 29, has barely competed since the 2012 Olympics. She got married in May 2013, missed the 2013 World Championships with an Achilles injury, announced her first pregnancy in January 2014 and gave birth to son Reggie on July 17.

Ennis-Hill finished fourth in her first heptathlon since the 2012 Olympics from May 30-31 in Gotzis, Austria, against a field that did not include 2014 world leader and countrywoman Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

Her point total in Gotzis, 6,520, would have placed third at the 2013 World Championships and seventh at the 2012 Olympics. Ennis-Hill tallied a national record 6,955 points at the London Games.

“To be back competing at this level is a daunting test as it’s only my fourth competition of the year,” Ennis-Hill said of the Diamond League meet next weekend. “I need to find out if I will be ready for Beijing and then ultimately Rio [2016 Olympics].”

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Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

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Conseslus Kipruto tests positive for coronavirus, canceling world-record bid

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Conseslus Kipruto, the Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion, tested positive for the coronavirus without symptoms, which will keep him from a world-record chase on Friday, according to his social media.

The Kenyan was to race in the first in-person Diamond League meet of the year in Monaco on Friday.

“Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities,” was posted. “Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League.

“I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well.”

Kipruto, 25, is the 14th-fastest steepler in history with a personal best of 8:00.12. The world record is 7:53.63, set by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen in 2004.

Last year, Kipruto won the world title by .01, extending a streak of a Kenyan or Kenyan-born man winning every Olympic or world title in the event since the 1988 Seoul Games. He was sidelined by a stress fracture in his left foot until opening his season extremely late on Aug. 24.

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Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities. Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League on August 14th. I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well. Wish to thank Monaco for all the work they have done and I wish them and my colleagues a wonderful competition. Athletics is back and I will be back as well. Anyone willing to organise a steeple once I can be cleared? @diamondleaguemonaco #nike #quarantine #WR #Kenya

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