Ennis’ rival says Olympic gold is not guaranteed

JESSICA Ennis has been told she faces a big fight to win gold in the heptathlon at the Olympics, despite her superb victory in Gotzis at the weekend.

Russian Tatyana Chernova was left trailing as Ennis set a new British record to finish 132 points clear and is now Olympic favourite again, having seen her rival rip away her world title, at the World Championships, in Daegu last year.

Ennis, who also lost her world pentathlon title to Nataliya Dobrynska in March, answered her critics with a total of 6,906 points, 75 more than the previous record set by Denise Lewis in 2000.

But world champion Chernova believes there is still room for improvement and has questioned whether Ennis will have the temperament to cope with home expectation.

Chernova said: “If people just look at one girl, it will be very hard for her to compete. I don’t know what is in her mind. But everyone in the stadium will want her to get a result, and there will be great attention on her.

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“For me there won’t be many Russian fans in the stadium. My country is far from London but I know people will be supporting me back home. It (the atmosphere) will help me because I’m not afraid of anyone.”

Chernova added: “She was the favourite (in Daegu) after winning Berlin but sometimes things change.

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“Every competition is different and at the next competition it will be about who is the strongest at that point and who believes in themselves.

“For me things are going very well. I did a good result - not my best, not a personal best, but I know what I have to do to be better at London 2012. The Olympic Games will be a great competition and I hope the strongest girl in the world wins.”

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