Jessica Ennis in the High Jump of the Heptathlon (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News

Ennis targeting title defence in Istanbul

Jessica Ennis will be defending her World indoor Pentathlon title in March, the 25-year-old Briton has confirmed.

Speaking to the BBC, Ennis said that that World Indoor Championships - Istanbul Turkey, 9-11 March 2012 - will be a major part of her busy 2012 indoor and outdoor season in the lead-in to the London Olympic Games.

Ennis's victory two years ago in Doha's Aspire Dome was among the most memorable moments from the last edition of the World Indoor Championships. With three personal bests, Ennis totalled a 4937-point tally, a competition and national record which elevated her to the No. 3 position all-time behind World indoor record holder Irina Belova (4991) and Swede Carolina Klüft (4948).

According to entry rules, the IAAF will extend invitations to the three best athletes from the 2011 outdoor list in the Heptathlon, which could set up a rematch between Ennis and Russian Tatyana Chernova, who succeeded the Briton as World champion in Daegu, and Germany's Jennifer Oeser, the Daegu bronze medallist. Chernova took Pentathlon bronze in Doha two years ago but has certainly narrowed the gap her British rival once had.

Ennis also plans appearances at both the UK Indoor Championships in her hometown of Sheffield and at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix in February. Her first outdoor Heptathlon will be in the IAAF Combined Events Challenge stop in Gotzis, Austria, where she will defend her title.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF