LONDON 2012 prospect Jessica Ennis gave her Olympic gold hopes a huge boost by breaking the British heptathlon record in her final contest with her main medal rivals before the Games.
Ennis blew away the field in Gotzis, Austria yesterday with a score of 6,909 points – the best by any woman for five years and significantly better than Denise Lewis’s 12-year-old British record.
Russian Tatyana Chernova, who took Ennis’s world championship crown last year in Daegu, was a distant second, 132 points behind, while Olympic and world indoor champion Nataliya Dobrynska finished ninth. It was a timely victory and the perfect response from the Sheffield multi-disciplinarian following the storm over a leading figure in British athletics allegedly labelling her “fat”. It also comes a week after her 100m hurdles best was scratched after an organisers’ bungle.
Ennis cleared her personal best in the javelin by a huge 40cm, equalled her lifetime best in the long jump and finished a close second to Chernova in the 800m to claim victory in Gotzis. That was enough to rewrite Sydney Olympic champion Lewis’s record of 6,831, having started the day on 4,113 points after setting a new lifetime best in the 200m on Saturday.