• London Olympics 2012

Home support could hurt Ennis, says Chernova

ESPN staff
May 29, 2012

World heptathlon champion Tatyana Chernova says she is not afraid of the level of support Jessica Ennis will receive at the London Olympics this summer, insisting the passion of the British crowd could take its toll on the Sheffield athlete.

Ennis broke Denise Lewis' British record in her first outdoor competition of the season in Gotzis at the weekend to lay down a marker to her heptathlon rivals.

But Russian Chernova, who finished second, is confident that she can find the extra points she will need to repeat her victory at the World Championships in Daegu last summer while Ennis battles with the added pressure of competing at a home Olympics.

"I don't know what it is in Jess' mind but everyone in the stadium will want her to get a result," Chernova said. "There will be great attention on her. It will help me because I'm not afraid of anything. If people just look at one girl, it will be very hard for her to compete."

Chernova took home the bronze medal from the Beijing Olympics and believes she will have plenty of Russian support in London, even if their voices may be drowned out in the Olympic Stadium.

"I'm very popular in my country and my country is bigger than Great Britain so I hope my family, my friends and my fans help me," Chernova added. "There won't be many Russian fans in the stadium. My country is far from London. But I know people will be supporting me back home."

Chernova scored 6774 in Gotzis, while Ennis scored 6906 - a score that would have beaten the Russian in Daegu. But Chernova is confident that her Olympic preparations are on track.

"This was my first competition of the outdoor season and it was a long winter with the World Indoor Championships, so I'm happy with this result and I think everything went well. I had a good result. Not my best, not a personal best, but I now know what I have to do to be better at London 2012."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.