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Backley: Big first day all important for Ennis

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Ennis speaks to media after a kitting out session in Loughborough (Reuters)

Jessica Ennis clearly has the best lifetime best of the women's heptathlon field in London. Part of me thinks that she just has to keep her cool, score 6,900 points then she can win.

But then part of me also thinks that we haven't seen the best of Tatyana Chernova yet, who was buoyed by her World Championship win over Jess last year and is clearly a very capable athlete physically.

There's a slight vulnerability around Jess that has been exposed recently with the long jump. Her second day is a lot weaker than her first and she needs to be 200-300 points ahead after the first day.

Her stronger events are all on the first day, the 100m hurdles, the high jump, her shot put is not too bad nowadays, the 200m. She has a very strong, world-record first day.

Her second day at the British trials — when she made five no jumps - made me wince a little. You get three chances in the field and she doesn't need to put herself under pressure. She did 6.23 in the long jump, and the same again in Loughborough. She seems to have a problem sighting the board and remember, only four years ago she had to change her take-off foot after suffering a stress fracture to a metatarsal.

I don't know whether that haunts her when it comes to sighting her take-off step. She's not quite on the rhythm there but if she does 6.40 in the first round I'll breathe a huge sigh of relief because I know she'll build on it. If she jumps 6.20 or a no jump I'll have my head in my hands.

And we shouldn't forget Nataliya Dobrynska, the defending Olympic champion, as she knows how to get it right when she matters. Dobrynska has a habit of getting ready for championships physically as she did in Beijing and Berlin — while at Daegu last year she was a touch short, she was still in contention.

Goldie Sayers is in great form in the javelin — she beat the Olympic champion and world record holder Barbora Spotakova and she beat the world leader in Sunette Viljoen the South African, and she threw a British record at Crystal Palace.

You could not organise her year to ascend more effectively through to a major championships. I don't want to get carried away with Goldie because I know qualifying is always tough, especially for the javelin. She has to get through qualifying and if she gets through to the final she has already proved she can beat everyone. She came fourth in Beijing and it's great to think she can be back in contention after three ordinary leads.

Holly Bleasedale has a chance of a medal in the pole vault. She got bronze in the world indoors and is third on the all-time world-lead list behind Yelena Isinbayeva. And she's only 20. She's a serious contender.

The event has been dominated by Isinbayeva with her world record of 5.06 and if she's on form she can't be beaten. But she has shown she is fragile. With 4.71 at the British trials, Holly is young and capable, but naive. The important thing for youngsters is to get in the final, to make sure they qualify. She has to get stuck in, get through and if she gets in the final she can jump 4.80 which could be enough.

Then we have Shara Proctor in the long jump, and her British record of 6.95m is very good. There are only two athletes that got beyond that in Beijing and that was a strong year.

Former javelin world record holder and twice Olympic silver medallist Steve Backley will be an expert consultant for Eurosport-Yahoo! during the London 2012 Games.

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