OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Ennis begins gold hunt in fine form
By Sean-Paul Doran, Sportsbeat, London 2012
JESSICA Ennis started her bid for London 2012 heptathlon gold in fine form as she finished the morning session in the lead after breaking a British record in front of a packed Olympic Stadium.
JUMP TO GLORY: Jessia Ennis sets fastest time this year in hurdles to lead heptathlon after morning session
Making her Games debut, Ennis took a score of 2249 points from her first two events – the 100m hurdles and the high jump – to lead America’s Hyleas Fountain by 25 as she produced a stunning 12.54 seconds hurdle run.
And the 26-year-old former world champion was jubilant as she posted a time that would have secured top of the podium in the 100m hurdles at Beijing 2008, and started her quest for London 2012 gold in the best possible manner.
She said: “I’m literally speechless. When I crossed the line I had to double check, I just couldn’t believe that it was that time. I still cannot believe I ran that time to be honest.
“I was nervous but strangely calmer than I have been before other championships and then stepping into the stadium just really lifted me and it got me that great time.”
Teammate Katarina Johnson-Thompson finished the morning in an unexpected third after posting 2146 from her two events; ahead of world champion Tatyana Chernova with 2031 and fellow Brit Louise Hazel’s 1777.
Johnson-Thompson broke her high jump personal best by one centimetre as she cleared 1.89m, while Ennis managed 1.86m and Hazel jumped 1.59m and admitted her young age could be an advantage.
She said: “I don't feel much pressure as I'm only 19. I wanted to come here and to absorb the experience and enjoy myself.
“It's an incredible crowd. I've never experienced anything like this in my life. I was trying to use the crowd to help my performance.”
Ennis began her London 2012 campaign with a stunning time of 12.54 in the 100m hurdles – a world best time for a female heptathelete in the event, and a new personal best for the Brit – to put her in the lead with 1195.
Hazel and Johnson-Thompson stood in joint 15th place after the first event as they both clocked 13.48 in their heats.
Great Britain’s women's triple jumper Yamile Aldama reached the Olympic final with her first jump in the qualifying of 14.45m.
The 40-year-old, competing in her fifth Olympic Games for a third different country, is a medal hopeful for Team GB and now progresses to Sunday’s final.
She said: “It was a good jump, but I wasn’t running as fast because the wind was changing and we had a headwind. I wanted to make sure I qualified early and that’s what I did.
“This is my fifth Olympic games and I’ve never experienced anything like this crowd in a qualifying round. Normally it’s empty, but not like this. It’s great”
Elsewhere it was disappointment for Carl Myerscough as his London 2012 shot put campaign ended as he failed to reach the final.
Myerscough threw a best of 18.95m, nearly three metres behind his personal best from 2003, as he finished a disappointing 29th in qualifying.
The 32-year-old, competing in his first Games after his lifetime ban for a doping violation was overturned, expressed his frustration at seeing his Olympic dream end.
He said: “It’s obviously a massive disappointment. Each one, something went slightly wrong, and I couldn’t get a good one out. I am capable and there are no words to describe the disappointment.”
© Sportsbeat 2012