Jessica Ennis set to return for Great Day of Sport

Great Day of Sport

Venue:
Manchester
Date:
Sunday, 15 May
Coverage:
Live on BBC Two and BBC Sport website: Great Manchester Run 1000 BST, Great Salford Swim 1400 BST, Great City Games 1530 BST

Media playback is not supported on this device

Jess Ennis excited about defending her World title

Britain's Jessica Ennis is set to make her first appearance of the outdoor season in the Great Day of Sport in Manchester on Sunday, 15 May.

The World and European heptathlon champion will compete in the 150m and the hurdles in the Great City Games.

The 25-year-old missed last month's European Indoor Championships in Paris with an ankle tendon injury.

Also, Britain's Paula Radcliffe will make her comeback after a 15-month absence in the Great Manchester Run.

The 37-year-old marathon world record holder has been sidelined because of injury and the birth of her second child.

She is using the 10k race - a distance for which she also holds the world record - to kick-start her build-up to the 2012 Olympics in London.

Also amongst the expected 38,000 runners for the race will be legendary Ethiopian distance runner Haile Gebrselassie, who claimed a fast half marathon victory in Vienna on Sunday and is hoping to win the Manchester race for a fourth time and for the third straight year.

Ennis is also hoping to use the Manchester event as preparation for future competition, chiefly the defence of her world title in Daegu in August.

She has confirmed she will take part in her first heptathlon of the year in Gotzis, Austria, on 28 and 29 May and will also compete at the Diamond League Grand Prix meeting in New York in June.

"I would loved to have not missed such an amount of training, but I'm just starting back into running sessions now. I'm not actually that far behind," she admitted.

"Obviously it's not ideal preparation [for the summer]. I planned to go to the European indoors and was really looking forward to that.

"Looking back now I'm really glad I made that choice to not go because I think it would have made it a lot worse.

"I was in such good shape for the indoors and you don't lose that that quickly. Although I lost a little bit, I think it'll come back quite quickly.

Ennis is also realistic about the run-up to next year's London Olympics.

"Before the 2008 injury [stress fracture to her ankle which caused her to miss the Beijing Olympics] I viewed myself as such a lucky person, never really getting injured, and now I know it's kind of inevitable," she said. "I'm getting that little bit older and you do pick up injuries and the event I do is very stressful on the body.

"I know that between now and the Olympics there're going to be injuries, there're going to setbacks. It's not ever going to be easy to make an Olympics or to try and contend for a gold medal at an Olympics, so I'm expecting a tough time.

"It's going to be difficult but I think having an injury before the last Olympics has got me ready for that."

There are expected to be 40,000 competitors for the Great Day of Sport on 15 May, which along with the Great Manchester Run and City Games, also includes the Great Salford Swim.

British Olympic silver medallist and world 10k open water swimming champion Keri-Anne Payne will compete in the latter, a mile-long race in Salford Quays.

The events will be shown live on BBC Two, with a combined total of five hours' coverage.

The BBC team for the Great Salford Swim includes Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, who won five Olympic Gold medals during his career and also six golds at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

A limited number of charity places are available for the Bupa Great Manchester Run with details at www.greatrun.org, while places are still available for British Gas Great Salford Swim at www.greatswim.org.

Top Stories