Britain’s golden girl Ennis settles for silver

BRITAIN’S wait for a first World Championship gold medal in Daegu will stretch into a fourth day after London 2012 poster girl Jessica Ennis surrendered her heptathlon crown to Russia’s Tatyana Chernova.

The Sheffield-born athlete held a 151-point advantage over Chernova heading into the second day of competition, but a disappointing performance in the javelin meant she went into the 800m, the final discipline, needing to beat her rival by nine seconds.

Ultimately, the 25-year-old (right) could only manage victory by under a second and despite the disappointment of failing to become the first British women to defend a world title, Ennis remains upbeat with less than a year to go until the Olympics.

“I’m going to work hard at all the events and make sure I’m strong next year. I’ve evaluated it and I’m not too disappointed,” she said.

“Javelin has been one of my weaker events but I’ve never performed that poorly. But it’s not something I’m going to overanalyse.

“I have been in a few heptathlons now and they have ended up going in very different ways – I was leading in Berlin from start to finish and now here. It has been a massive learning curve.

“I knew it would be very, very difficult. I was being realistic but I had to give it everything and leave everything on the track.”

There were mixed fortunes elsewhere for the Brits as Dai Greene qualified impressively for the final of the 400m hurdles, while Helen Clitheroe and Hannah England advanced to the finals of the 5,000m and 1,500m, but Tom Parsons and Martyn Bernard both disappointed in qualifying for the high jump.

Greene, who won his semi-final and qualified second fastest, said: “I know in the final I’ll have the confidence. I hope that sends a message to the others.”

Meanwhile, Kenya’s David Rudisha kept his two-year unbeaten record intact to claim victory in the 800m and his country’s eighth gold in Korea so far.

The 22-year-old underlined his status as one of the athletes likely to be a star attraction next summer in London by leading from start to finish and beating Sudan’s Abubaker Kaki into second.

There was a shock, however, in the women’s pole vault as Russia’s two-time Olympic and world champion Yelena Isinbayeva finished only sixth, with Brazil’s Fabiana Murer taking gold after clearing 4.85m.

There was better news for Russia in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase as Yuliya Zarudneva took her country’s eighth gold of the week, while there was further success for European athletes in the shape of Germany’s Robert Harting, who secured gold in the men’s discuss with a throw of 68.97m.