Ennis-Hill takes gold after 'hardest year'

Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:27am EDT
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BEIJING, (Reuters) - Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, who only decided to compete four weeks ago, regained the heptathlon world title on Sunday after what she described as her "hardest year ever".

Ennis-Hill became a mother for the first time 13 months ago, and had originally intended for 2015 to be a "transition" year to prepare for the defence of the Olympic title in Rio de Janeiro.

The Briton's victory followed a dramatic twist in the day's first discipline, the long jump, when her closest rival, team mate Katarina Johnson-Thompson, scored zero points following three foul jumps.

Ennis-Hill jumped 6.43 metres and threw the javelin 42.51 metres to give her an 86-point lead before the final event, the 800 metres.

She put in a determined display, sprinting past the pre-championship favourite, Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton, down the home straight to win in 2 minutes 10.13sec.

Ennis-Hill, who won the world title in Berlin in 2009, finished with 6,669 points.

Theisen-Eaton, who is married to American decathlon worldrecord-holder Ashton Eaton, repeated her silver medal-winning performance at the 2013 world championships, with a score of 6,554.

The bronze went to Laura Ikauniece-Admidina with a Latvian record 6,516 points.

Having been in contention for gold overnight, Johnson-Thompson finished 28th and last with 5,039 points having been compelled by the rulebook to jog around her 800m in order to be allowed to compete again this week in the individual long jump.   Continued...

Jessica Ennis-Hill of Britain celebrates winning the women's heptathlon during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 23, 2015.   REUTERS/Jason Lee