Monday, 17 August 2009
First Published in the Guardian on Sunday 16 August 2009.
World Athletics Championships
Jessica Ennis claims gold in the World Championship Heptathlon
• Victory in the 800m confirms Jessica Ennis as world champion
• 23-year-old finishes with a world leading total of 6731 points
Jessica Ennis celebrates after winning the World Championship heptathlon in Berlin.
Jessica Ennis claimed gold in the heptathlon at the World Championships in emphatic style by winning her heat of the final event, the 800m, in Berlin.
Britain's No1 heptathlete received a rousing ovation from the German crowd as she paraded with her competitors after an impressive performance in the last event of a gruelling weekend.
After winning, she told BBC Sport: "It's been the longest weekend of my life. But I can't believe I am world champion. I couldn't believe it after last year, it's amazing."
She had an 11 second cushion over her nearest rival, Poland's Kamila Chudzik, after the javelin, but Ennis was taking nothing for granted. She stormed into the an early lead of the 800m, and with a lap to go, was 10m ahead of the field. In spite of conceding ground in the back straight, she held on to win the race and the gold medal with a total of 6731 points, a world leading performance for this year.
Ennis led by 307 points overnight after winning three of the four disciplines on the opening day - the 100 metre hurdles, high jump and 200m - and setting a new personal best in the shot. That lead was trimmed to 269 points after the long jump in the Olympic Stadium, Ennis jumping 6.29m in the third and final round for a total of 5,064 points.
The margin was reduced further in the javelin despite a solid throw of 43.54m in the first round. Poland's Kamila Chudzik threw 48.72m to close within 171 points of Ennis with Olympic champion Nataliya Dobrynska currently in third, 273 points behind Ennis.
Only the 800m now remains for Ennis, but she has the comfort of knowing she is one of the fastest in the field with a personal best of two min 09.88 secs, almost eight seconds quicker than Chudzik.
"It would be nice to be up there [on the podium] definitely," Ennis said. "One more event to go. I'm not looking forward to it but I will give it my all."