Athletics: Ennis-Hill looks to future after losing heptathlon crown

Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:08pm EDT
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By Angus MacSwan

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Life has changed a lot for Jessica Ennis-Hill, the golden girl of British athletics, since she won gold at London in 2012. She has taken time off, suffered injuries, got married and had a son. With her Rio Olympics over, it is changing again.

On Saturday night, she lost her Olympic heptathlon crown to Belgium’s Nafi Thiam. But reflecting on Sunday, she said was proud and happy to have won the silver medal and now it was time for a break, for celebrations, and to think about the future.

“It was just really hard days of competition. I just did everything I could over those seven events over two days and it wasn’t quite enough for the gold medal. I’m just very happy with our performances. Obviously I would have loved to defend my title but I knew it was a tall ask.”

Ennis-Hill, 30, said she was still undecided on when to retire.

“Obviously it was quite emotional last night but I am in two minds about whether to call it a day and retire now or perhaps go a little bit longer, but that was my last Olympics. It was just an amazing feeling and also quite a sad feeling that I won’t have another Olympics.”

"I’m definitely moving to that stage of my life where things are changing. I have so many years doing this sport and so many years at the top. I would never have imagined I would have achieved what I have at this stage and won the medals that I have. So it’s a nice position to be in and I’m looking forward to the future."

Speaking at the Omega House villa overlooking an Ipanema beach packed with Sunday crowds, she said she hoped to see a little bit more of Rio, but was heading home soon to celebrate with family.

Ennis-Hill would have been the first British female track and field athlete to win consecutive Olympic titles had she won. She led after the first day but dropped back after Saturday’s long jump. She won the last discipline of the event, the 800m, but not by enough to overtake Thiam, who scored five personal bests.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Women's Heptathlon 800m - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 13/08/2016. Silver medal winner Jessica Ennis-Hill (GBR) of Britain celebrates after the event.  REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado