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Pressure points for poster girl

PRESSURE: Jessica Ennis

JESSICA ENNIS believes that anything but a gold medal at London 2012 will make her a failure in the eyes of the public. The hepthatlete is one of Britain’s best medal hopes and is the bookmaker’s favourite to take the top prize in her field.

The 2009 world champion faces stiff competition from rivals Tatyana Chernova, the current world champion, and Natalia Dobrynska, the world indoor champion. However, she will go into her first Olympic Games on a high after an impressive build-up which has seen her smash Denise Lewis’ 12-year British record and regain the world no 1 ranking.

The 26-year-old admitted that being the favourite has increased the pressure on her and she explained: “Because of the expectation and pressure, I think anything but gold, everyone would view that as a failure and I'm aware of that. I'm going to go there and give it everything to see what I can do.”

Ennis predicts that she will need to set some personal bests in order to achieve gold but the Sheffield star added that she would not be focusing too much on what her rivals are doing:

“I try not to get too fixated on what they’re doing and their techniques and performances because I think you can get too wrapped up in it. If you’re worrying about what they’re doing training-wise it can get into your head and eat away at you a bit.

“I want to focus on my training and my performances and what I’ve got to do. In heptathlon you’re competing against yourself: your personal best, your season’s best, and you have to stay really focused on yourself.”

Ennis, who is currently at a team training camp in Portugal, has her first event at the Olympics on August 3.

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