Jessica Ennis-Hill announces return at Great CityGames

Jessica Ennis-Hill
Jessica Ennis-Hill has enjoyed past success in the GreatCity Games

Jessica Ennis-Hill is to return to action for the first time in almost two years since giving birth to son Reggie.

The London Olympic heptathlon champion, 29, will compete in the 100m hurdles at the Great CityGames.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, 22, will also feature in the street event held on Manchester's Deansgate on 9 May.

Ennis-Hill said: "I'm really looking forward to making my competitive return. The atmosphere in Manchester is always amazing there."

The Sheffield athlete's last competitive appearance came in the Anniversary Games in London in July 2013, when she finished fourth in the 100m hurdles.

An expected city-centre crowd of 25,000 will see her much-anticipated return, and she said: "Street athletics is a lot of fun because you are really close to the fans."

Rising multi-event star Johnson-Thompson has proved herself capable of challenging Ennis-Hill during her rival's absence, topping the heptathlon world rankings last year.

The Liverpudlian also broke Ennis-Hill's British record of 4,965 points in the pentathlon when she scored 5,000 points on her way to the title at March's European Indoor Championships in Prague.

Jessica Ennis-Hill
Jessica Ennis-Hill is back in training in the build up to her competitive return

Johnson-Thompson will compete in the 200m hurdles and long jump at the Great CityGames.

But the pair are set to go head-to-head in the heptathlon in Gotzis, Austria at the end of May.

They will also face off in the World Championships in Beijing in August.

And further ahead, they will compete for Olympic heptathlon gold in Rio next year, when Ennis-Hill defends the title she won in such memorable style in 2012.

Great CityGames events take place at purpose built, temporary outdoor arenas - featuring a specially constructed four-lane sprint track.

Born Jessica Ennis, January 28, 1986Introduced to athletics at Sheffield's Don Valley Stadium in 1996
Crowned World Heptathlon Champion, 2009Lives up to her 'poster-girl' image to earn London Olympic gold, 2012
Named CBE in New Year Honours, 2012Marries long-term partner Andy Hill, 2013
Gives birth to son Reggie, 17 July, 2014

Ennis-Hill will be lining up in one of her favourite events as she launches her long-term preparations for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Her time of 12.54 seconds clocked in the 100m hurdles during the 2012 Olympic heptathlon competition stood as a British record until Tiffany Porter dipped under that mark in Marrakesh last September in a time of 12.51.

The Great CityGames will be shown live on BBC One and BBC One HD.

The event is part of a weekend-long celebration of sport in the city which includes Europe's biggest 10K event, the Great Manchester Run, on Sunday 10 May.

Heptathlon
Ennis-Hill and Johnson-Thompson will go head-to-head later this year
Jessica Ennis-Hill
Ennis-Hill led Great Britain's athletes' Olympic 'gold-rush' on August 4, 2012
Jessica Ennis-Hill
She has not competed for almost two years after giving birth

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