Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill will kick-start the defence of her Olympic heptathlon title at the Loughborough International Athletics (LIA) match on Sunday 22nd May.
Ennis-Hill has long been a fan of competing at Loughborough University, having used the LEAP meeting as her final tune-up before Olympic glory in London four years ago. In her first outdoor competition of the season, the Toni Minichiello coached athlete will throw the javelin, as she did at the LIA in 2015.
Last year saw Ennis-Hill use the Loughborough International as one of her first competitions back, having not competed in 2014 due to the birth of her first child, Reggie. Her return couldn’t have gone much better as she went on to win her first World title three months later.
Ahead of Sunday the British record holder said:
“I am going to start off my outdoor season with a javelin competition at the Loughborough International to put a marker down for us to work with. It is a firm favourite of both my coach and mine as the timing is always good, and the local support is amazing.”
Ennis-Hill isn’t the only star using the LIA as a springboard for success in Olympic year, as European Champion and sub ten second man James Dasaolu will compete over 100m.
On the prospect of running his first outdoor race of the year on home turf, Dasaolu said:
“Loughborough has provided a fantastic environment for me to train in. It has been my home for a number of years and so it’s particularly nice to open my outdoor season here in an Olympic year.
“It promises to be a fantastic field as myself and the other GB athletes prepare for a big summer. Training has been going well for me and I am really looking forward to the meet.”
Also running over 100m will be 37 year old Dwain Chambers, whose last outing over the distance came back in 2014. Another Loughborough based athlete, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, will also run the blue riband event, the European Championship bronze medallist already having a 10.18 performance to his name this year.
In the relays, European gold and silver medallists Martyn Rooney and Matthew Hudson-Smith will be in action, with Rooney another local favourite having studied in Loughborough and still using the university, which is also the home of British Athletics, as his training base.