Jessica Ennis lays down early-season marker with hurdles triumph

Jessica Ennis believes a second impressive 60 metre hurdles victory over double world indoor champion Lolo Jones gives her plenty of reasons to be positive for the coming season.

The world and European heptathlon champion clocked a season's best 7.97 seconds in Saturday's Aviva International Match at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall to beat her American rival, who trailed home fourth after clattering the third hurdle.

The time was just two hundredths of a second off the British record Ennis set at last year's event, when she also claimed the scalp of Jones.

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The 25-year-old also edged out one of Britain's latest recruits from overseas, Tiffany Ofili, who came home second in 8.04secs.

Ofili, who hails from Michigan but qualifies for Britain through her mother, has a quicker personal best than Ennis both indoors and out but could not live with her on this occasion.

And, with the European Indoor Championships coming up in Paris in March and the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, on the horizon in August, the performance bodes well.

"I always come into it just wanting a good quality race and to push my time," said Ennis.

"I thought it was a bit flukey last year. But it's given me loads of confidence, coming here and running that sort of time and beating people of that calibre.

"I've done three races now (this season) and each time I've got quicker and I think if I'm running under eight (seconds) that's really good and hopefully I can produce that in the summer."

The Sheffield athlete admits, though, her long jump needs work, despite being satisfied with a leap of 6.38m with her last attempt to place third. The event is one she has struggled with since the serious ankle injury which ruled her out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics forced her to change take-off legs.

"It's just one of those events, like with the shot putt, that's taken so long and then eventually kind of clicks," she said.

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"Although I was pleased with jumping 6.51m last year (her outdoor personal best), I still feel there's so much more to come. I'll just go away a put a bit more time into it and hope that it improves."

Andy Turner, the European and Commonwealth champion, was unable to make it a British double in the hurdles as he finished second behind muscular Floridian David Oliver.

Turner clocked 7.66secs with Oliver, who was unbeaten outdoors last summer and ran two of the six fastest times ever for the 110m hurdles, winning in 7.51.

It was both athletes' fastest-ever season-opening times, and Oliver feels Turner, who battled back from injury and loss of funding to win two gold medals last year, is starting to fulfil his potential.

"We trained together several years ago and he used to beat me real bad when we were doing sprint work-outs," he said.

"I know he's a good hurdler and it was good to see him win those medals last year. I was definitely checking to see how he was doing and I'm just glad he's seeing some success because he works really, really hard. He deserves it."

Jenny Meadows, the 800m runner, who is looking to go one better in Paris than the world indoor silver medal she won in Doha last March, got her season off to a flyer.

Meadows, who cruised to a convincing victory in Glasgow in 2:01.17, said: "I felt really good, it's by far the quickest I've ever opened up with on this track. I am (optimistic about Paris). Last year I was in very good shape indoors and I did think I'd given myself a tough task in 2011 to try to replicate what I did in 2010, but all the signs in training show I'm actually quite far ahead of where I was this time last year."

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Sarah Kelly will resume her studies today at Dundee University following a three-week hiatus in which she experienced extreme highs and lows.

Freshly returned from three weeks of altitude training in Kenya, the 18-year-old found herself pitched straight into her senior debut for Great Britain in the 1500m.

It proved a chastening experience. Twelve seconds adrift of the field in last place, the world junior finalist admitted that fatigue had left her well off the pace. "I'm upset but it's one of those things," she said. "I tried my best but it didn't work."

Kelly will reconvene with her coach Liz McColgan as she plots her career transition. However, the chance to spend some time in close proximity with Ennis has inspired her further.

"I didn't have a chance to speak to her personally but she gave us a team talk," she said. "I was just sitting there thinking: 'wow'. Everyone was really welcoming. They helped keep me calm and encouraged me."

Elsewhere, Scottish international Laura Kenney was beaten into third place in the 3000m as Allison Kieffer of the USA dipped at the finish. "I was determined not to let her past me," said Kenney. "But she did it just on the line as we came off the bend."