London 2012 Olympics: Ennis crowned Olympic champion

The face of 2012 Jessica Ennis wrapped up the Olympic heptathlon title with a UK record of 6955

Jessica Ennis (Mark Shearman)

A career-threatening ankle injury ruled her out of the Beijing Olympics, but four years later Jessica Ennis was crowned the Olympic heptathlon champion on the greatest night ever for British athletics – a day that will go down as ‘Super Saturday’.

She was momentarily passed by eventual fourth-placer Austra Skujyte from Lithuania after the shot, but otherwise it was a truly dominant performance from the City of Sheffield athlete who adds this accolade to her world title from 2009 and her European title from 2010.

Ennis finished her two days in style as she won the final event in 2:08.65 for 984 points to deafening applause.

In doing so, Ennis improved her UK record to 6955 – a score that has only been bettered by world record-holder Jackie Joyner-Kersee in Olympic competition. She also became the fifth best scorer of all-time.

World champion Tatyana Chernova rallied well on the second day but had to settle for the bronze with 6628. Even had she been at her best, she’d have been no match for the in-form Ennis.

For a while it looked as though Chernova had got the silver following the disqualification of Lilli Schwarzkopf in the 800m, but the German was reinstated to take second place overall with 6649, breaking her PB from four years ago.

Natalia Dobrynska was understandably not at her best after the death of her coach and husband earlier this year, and the defending champion dropped out after the long jump. With 13 women over 6300 points, it was the highest-standard heptathlon of all-time.

If Ennis is the star of 2012, watch out for Katarina Johnson-Thompson in 2016 and 2020. The teenager broke Ennis’ UK junior heptathlon record earlier this year and she improved it further to 6267 to finish 14th.

Commonwealth Games champion Louise Hazel finished 26th with 5856.

How Ennis’ golden two days unfolded

100m hurdles – 12.54 (1159 points)
It all started with a performance which would have equalled Dawn Harper’s winning time in the 100m hurdles at the Beijing Olympics. Ennis’ time of 12.54 was a UK record and the fastest time in a heptathlon by eight-hundredths.

Overall – Ennis 1195, Zelinka 1178, Fountain 1170, Aerts 1133, Djimou Ida 1130

High jump – 1.86m (1054 points)
Ennis jointly holds the UK high jump record at 1.95m but a 1.86m clearance is on par with her performances in the past year. It was also one centimetre better than the height she achieved en route to her UK record in Götzis in May.

Overall – Ennis 2249, Fountain 2224, Johnson-Thompson 2146, Skujyte 2110, Djimou Ida 2108

Shot – 14.28m (813 points)
She wasn’t fully enamoured with her best effort of 14.28m but it was still her third best put outdoors. Austra Skujyte momentarily eclipsed Ennis’ lead with a world heptathlon best of 17.31m.

Overall – Skujyte 3126, Ennis 3062, Schwarzkopf 2947, Savitskaya 2930, Dobrynska 2920

200m – 22.83 (1096 points)
Ennis tore up the track in the final event of the first day with her second PB of the competition of 22.83. This gave Ennis her best day one total of 4158.

Overall – Ennis 4158, Skujyte 3974, Zelinka 3903, Yosypenko 3902, Fountain 3900

Long jump – 6.48m (1001 points)
The event which proved her undoing at the World Indoor Championships was rock-steady as she produced her second best ever mark in a major championships. Ennis’ grasp on the title became just that bit tighter as the challenge of world champion Tatyana Chernova didn’t really materialise. She achieved the best jump of the day but 6.54m made insufficient inroads into Ennis’ lead.

Overall – Ennis 5159, Skujyte 4901, Chernova 4869, Yosypenko 4848, Schippers 4836

Javelin – 47.49m (812 points)
Her sub-standard performance at last year’s World Championships was just an anomaly and Ennis showed no signs of nerves as her competition climaxed with a 47.49m PB. The title was as good as wrapped up and while her lead was cut back, Ennis is a renowned 800m runner while Skujyte hasn’t broken 2:20 this year. Chernova lost even more ground.

Overall – Ennis 5971, Skujyte 5783, Yosypenko 5701, Djimou Ida 5696, Schwarzkopf 5692

800m – 2:08.65 (984 points)
This was very much a formality as Ennis had all but sealed the title. To rapturous applause, Ennis crossed the line first in 2:08.65 to become the first British winner of the heptathlon title since Denise Lewis in 2000.

Final scores – Ennis 6955, Schwarzkopf 6649, Chernova 6628, Yosypenko 6618, Skujyte 6599

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