Although Jessica Ennis has been a regular and very welcome guest at our annual British Sports Awards, she is not yet qualified to be a member of the SJA. So she does not have a vote in our annual poll for the Sportsman, Sportswoman or Team of the Year. If she did, as she told PHILIP BARKER during a training session at Sheffield yesterday, there’s a straightforward choice
Olympic heptathlon gold medallist Jessica Ennis spent much of 2013 as an unwilling spectator, but she’s in no doubt about the performances that caught her eye.
“You cannot look beyond Mo Farah,” the now Mrs Ennis-Hill said yesterday, as she was presented with the 2012 UEPS/AIPS sportswoman of the year trophy, voted for by our colleagues across Europe.
“He has been absolutely incredible to back up what he did last year and then come out and do that all again,” said Ennis-Hill, the SJA’s 2012 Sportswoman of the Year.
With injury as well as her wedding to deal with in 2013, Ennis-Hill never made it to Moscow to defend her heptathlon world title, though Christine Ohuruogu reprised her role of Britain’s golden girl by regaining the World Championship 400 metres title she had previously won in 2007.
For Ennis-Hill, Ohuruogu’s typically storming run down the finishing straight was gripping viewing. “I was so disappointed to be watching on TV at home, but me and my husband just sat there and watched her, it was just amazing, I really was screaming at the TV, it was, ‘Go on, Christine!’. she was so brilliant.”
Ennis-Hill has won the SJA’s Sportswoman award three times in the last four years – and was in the top four on the one occasion she missed out on the trophy.So 2013 represents a significant gap in her competitive CV. Now, she’s targeting a return to action for the indoor season.
“Having to make that difficult decision before the Worlds in Moscow was really disappointing, frustrating more than anything, but I knew it was the right decision. I had to give my Achilles time to heal and get into a full rehab programme.
“I am quite a bit down the road now. It is so much better now, I had a scan on it the other week and it shows it is really healing well.
“I really want to do the indoor season but I am still playing it week by week to see if I can get back into full training but that is still the hope. I want to do the pentathlon at the World Indoors next March.”
In fact, the summer of 2014 could be a very busy year for Ennis, with the the Commonwealth Games at Hampden Park and the European championships in Zurich follow shortly afterwards. Win those two and Ennis-Hill will be back in the reckoning for the 2014 SJA British Sports Awards.
- Who get’s your vote? SJA members are invited to submit their article, of around 500 words, on why they have chosen their Sportsman, Sportswoman or Team of the Year by email here
- Or consider the other leading candidates for the British Sports Awards here
UPCOMING SJA EVENTS
Thu Oct 24: SJA Lunch with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Fully booked
Tue Oct 29: SJA Masterclass with Andy Dunn. Click here to attend
Tue Nov 12: Laureus Lunch with All Blacks great Sean Fitzpatrick. Click here to book your place
Thu Dec 12: SJA 2013 British Sports Awards. Bookings now open. Click here for details
Tue Feb 25: SJA Masterclass with Des Kelly. For more information, click here
Mon Mar 24: SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, Grand Connaught Rooms, London
Mon Apr 14: SJA Spring Golf Day: Croham Hurst GC, Surrey. Booking details to be announced
Tue May 20: SJA Masterclass with Janine Self. For more information, click here