Ennis targets Gotzis gold
Jessica Ennis is aiming to turn silver into gold when she competes in her first heptathlon of the season in Gotzis next month.
The 26-year-old is one of Britain's leading hopes for Olympic gold on home soil but she will go into the Games having been beaten at the last two global championships.
Ennis lost out to Russia's Tatyana Chernova at the World Championships in Daegu last year and then saw Ukrainian Nataliya Dobrynska break the world record to win gold in the pentathlon at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul last month.
The trio will go head-to-head for the last time before London at the annual Hypo meeting in Gotzis, Austria on May 26 and 27, where Ennis will be looking for a third consecutive victory and a valuable confidence boost.
She said: "It's definitely going to be a good indication of how everyone's performing and what's going to happen in the summer, but when it does come around to August you're all back on zero again and it starts again. It really matters at the Olympics."
Ennis looked near unbeatable when she won gold at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009 but the bar has gone up significantly since.
"It's the highest it's ever been," said Ennis. "Every time we go to championships people are setting personal bests, national records, world records. There's a number of athletes that could easily achieve that gold medal in London."
The Sheffield athlete's success and high profile as the golden girl of the Olympics mean every silver is seen as a setback irrespective of the circumstances.
Both Chernova and Dobrynska achieved scores higher than Ennis' career bests, but she is happy for expectation to come with the territory.
She said: "People are just supportive and are willing me to do well, but it's very hard to win a gold medal every time and to get all the seven events right. But if my bad days are a silver medal and my good days are gold, I'll definitely take that.
"A few years ago if someone said I'd pick up two gold medals at world level and two silvers, I would have said, 'great, that's brilliant, I'll take that every day'.
"But now those silvers, once you've tasted gold, there is a bit of disappointment. They definitely drive me on in training to try and get everything right."
A week before Gotzis, Ennis will compete at the Manchester Great CityGames, where she will race in a high-class 100 metres hurdles field that also includes Olympic champion Dawn Harper.
Ennis was in the city on Thursday at the Arndale shopping centre to promote the event, and she said: "It's a great opportunity to run in a really high-class field and prepare in the best way I can to be at the top of my game in Gotzis.
"It's hard to get into meets because my event is the heptathlon, not just the hurdles, so to come here and run against some of the top American athletes is a brilliant opportunity."
The Great CityGames, on May 20, bring athletics into the heart of the city, and Ennis added: "It's so different.
"To have it in the city centre down Deansgate attracts a completely different crowd that might not normally come to watch athletics. And the level of competition is so high. It's a world-class field, which is great."