Jessica Ennis-Hill has suffered a setback in her build-up to the Rio Olympics after being forced to withdraw from next month’s prestigious Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis, Austria.
The 30-year-old from Sheffield has not sufficiently recovered from a recurrence of her long-standing Achilles problem which saw her withdraw from the World Indoor Championships in Portland in March.
Ennis-Hill had been hoping to use the Gotzis event – one of the most important on the heptathlon calendar – as a means of assessing her own form and that of her rivals in the run-up to Rio.
It is the latest injury setback for Ennis-Hill since she returned to competition following the birth of her son last season, having torn a calf muscle in the process of winning the World Championship in Beijing in 2015.
However, it will not unduly affect her hopes of reaching Rio, given that she has already achieved enough points over the course of the year to ensure she will qualify to defend her title.
Fellow Britons Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Morgan Lake are both set to compete in Gotzis as they bid to achieve the qualifying standard required to join Ennis-Hill in Rio.
City of Sheffield and Dearne begin their British League (Premiership) campaign today at Eton.
Commonwealth pole vault medallist Luke Cutts has his first outdoor competition of the year for the Sheffield club and he is partnered by top junior Adam Hague in what is Sheffield’s strongest event.
Decathlete Liam Ramsay has a busy day, competing in the 110 hurdles, long jump and high jump and most likely one or both relays.
With some strong teams taking part, this year’s event promises to be close with Sheffield again likely to be among the leaders.
Doncaster AC make their debut in the league with a place in Division 4. They travel to Derby where they face Brighton and Hove, Portsmouth, Derby/Mansfield, Reading and Rugby/Northampton.
Wakefield begin the defence of their Northern League title with a home fixture at Thornes Park. They face City of Sheffield and Dearne, Blackburn, Kingston upon Hull, Preston and West Cheshire in a powerful line up.