FORMER OLYMPIC gold medallist Denise Lewis insists Jess Ennis can cope with the pressure of being Britain’s greatest medal hope at London 2012 after claiming the Sheffield star is in the form of her life.
Ennis broke Lewis’s 12-year-old British record in the multi-sport event in Gotzis last month and claims the 26-year-old could dominate the sport for years to come.
Ennis’ total of 6,906 points in Austria blew away her main rival, 2011 World Championship conqueror Tatyana Chernova, and, with the Olympics less than two months away, she is the firm favourite to secure the biggest prize of all.
Lewis, who won Olympic gold in Sydney 2000, believes Ennis’ serene outlook will be her biggest asset ahead of her next outing in the Olympic trials on June 23.
“I think we’ve come to expect her to perform well, so she deserves to be the big hope for the Olympics and we’ll see what she does when she competes on August 3 and 4,” said Lewis.
“I think she’ll cope with the pressure. She is well within her capabilities to take it in her stride. She’s a pretty level-headed person, so she’ll be fine.
“There’s nothing she needs to work on. She just needs to keep her head down, keep doing what she’s doing and she’ll be fine.
“She is in really good shape. I think she was primed to break my record, so onwards and upwards.
“Generally, Team GB are in a good place. From an athletics point of view, we’ve had some great performances already this year.”
Lewis was present at the launch of the new Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites in Stratford, overlooking the Olympic Park, on Tuesday and the 39-year-old admits she wishes she could join Ennis and Co. at the opening ceremony on July 27.
She said: “I’ve got a gold medal, so you can’t be disappointed with that, but it would have been lovely to compete at the Olympic Stadium.
“I’ll be there, though. I may not be competing but I’ll be there. The process of getting to this point will be part of my memory forever and I can’t wait for the start of the Games now.”
Holiday Inn is the Official Hotel Provider to the Olympic and Paralympic Games – visit ichotelsgroup.com for more information