Olympic champion is victorious at IAAF World Championships while fellow Brit Katarina Johnson-Thompson suffers disappointment
Jessica Ennis-Hill claimed a glorious second heptathlon world gold six years after her first in Berlin, merely 13 months after the birth of her son Reggie.
The 29-year-old, who performed remarkably consistently throughout the two days, registered a points total of 6669 to secure Britain’s second gold of the championships after Mo Farah won in the 10,000m.
Her winning score might have been 286 points fewer than the 6955 she registered at her peak when winning Olympic gold in London in 2012, but she secured the title in style, winning her 800m heat in 2:10.13 with the emotion clear to see.
The pre-event favourite Brianne Theisen-Eaton ran a hard 800m in second to secure the silver medal, while Laura Ikauniece-Admidina of Latvia secured bronze.
But there was extreme disappointment for Katarina Johnson-Thompson as the 22-year-old finished back in 28th place with 5039 points after registering three no-jumps in the long jump at the start of the day.
Johnson-Thompson entered day two in second place on a points tally of 3925, just 80 points behind Ennis-Hill, but her inability to register a jump in her strongest discipline killed off any chances of challenging for a place on the rostrum. However, her World Championships are not over, and she will be determined to make up for her heptathlon disappointment when she goes in the long jump on Thursday.
After her lap of honour, an elated Ennis-Hill told the BBC: “I’m lost for words. I can’t believe I’m here in the Bird’s Nest. This time last year I’d just had my son and now I’m world champion. It’s just an incredible feeling.
“It was just a massive surprise to even be here to be honest. Doing the Anniversary Games and having to make the decision whether I felt I was ready to come here and be competitive, and now to be here and to have finished on top, I’m really lost for words.
“Before the Anniversary Games I wasn’t sure I was going to be ready and then having performed there and put some good times together and a good jump in the long jump, I felt that I was making progress and getting to where I needed to be.
“It’s been definitely the hardest year ever. Going into London was hard and there were different challenges and pressures. But this year juggling all my mummy duties and training, everything has just been so hard but it’s been the most amazing year as well.”
A 6.43m jump and a 42.51m javelin throw went towards Ennis-Hill’s 5760 points heading into the final event, an 86 and 94-point lead over Netherlands’ Nadine Broersen and Theisen-Eaton in second and third respectively.
Theisen-Eaton opted to take the 800m out fast knowing Ennis-Hill enjoyed a points cushion which equated to around six seconds, but the Brit stayed in touch for the two laps before storming past the Canadian on the home straight. Ikauniece-Admidina ran in a time of 2:13.79 in third place to overcome Broersen, who finished the race in fifth with 2:16.58.
Johnson-Thompson had continued competing after her long jump disappointment, knowing that if she was to pull out of her competition, she could risk not being allowed to compete in the long jump. She opted to jog round at the back of her 800m field, clocking a very modest time by her standards of 2:50.73, opting to conserve her energy for the long jump qualification on Thursday.
After her run a dejected Johnson-Thompson reflected on her day, saying: “I’m obviously really disappointed – to be in medal contention and miss the board by such a small fraction is really hard to take.”
Elsewhere, Britain’s Laura Muir came third in her 1500m semi-final – and was the third fastest qualififer – behind Ethiopian world record-holder Genzebe Dibaba and Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, comfortably securing herself a spot in Tuesday’s final.
Muir chose to go with Dibaba and Kipyegon at the front of the field, opening up plenty of space between her and the following pack for the final sprint to claim third in a time of 4:07.95.
» See the August 27 edition of Athletics Weekly magazine for more in-depth coverage from the first four days of World Championships action