Stress-free Ennis-Hill has history in her sights

Stress-free Ennis-Hill has history in her sights

Stress-free Ennis-Hill has history in her sights

 Jessica Ennis-Hill has history in her sights as the Olympic heptathlon champion heads to Rio unburdened by stress after the pressure of carrying the hopes of a nation four years ago.

If the 30-year-old triumphs in the heptathlon she will also be the first British female athlete ever to retain an Olympic title. At the 2012 Games in London, Ennis-Hill knew the success-starved British sporting public were counting on her to win gold on home soil and she responded in spectacular fashion with a British record score of 6,955 points.

“It feels completely different this year. I don't feel that stress and pressure I had in 2012 and last year as well when I decided to go to Beijing,” she said. “I kind of feel I've come back from injuries and having my son and got back to the top of my sport.”

“I felt more stressed in 2012. Last year was a really unknown year. I didn't plan to go to the Beijing World Championships, it was kind of a last-minute thing.”

After giving birth to son Reggie, Ennis-Hill won the world title in Beijing and has battled back from an Achilles injury to head to Brazil as one of the favourites for gold. Ennis-Hill readily admits her priorities as a mother are vastly different to what they were four years ago.

She is treading a path unfamiliar to most as Australian sprint hurdler Shirley Strickland in 1956 and Cameroon triple-jumper Francoise Mbango Etone in 2008 are the only two athletes who have won consecutive Olympic titles and had a baby in between.

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