Looking back to London 2012
Expectations are running high as Jessica Ennis-Hill heads over to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games – and with good reason. She was catapulted to sporting stardom four years ago when the Games were held on home soil, where she bagged herself a well-deserved gold medal in the heptathlon.
As the countdown begins to her first event on August 12th, we thought we’d take a look back at what was a memorable year for Jess and British sport as a whole.
No easy feat
London 2012 was Jess’ first Olympic outing. She had been due to compete in Beijing four years earlier, but a fractured ankle put her out of the competition before it even began.
By the time London 2012 came around, Jess was more than ready for the challenge. She reportedly racked up 10,000 hours of training between the 2008 and 2012 Games – and it showed.
Racking up the points
Jess came first in all the events, with the exception of the shot put. She also achieved personal bests in the 100-metre hurdles, 200 metres and javelin, leaving little doubt that she was worthy of the gold medal she eventually won.
Jess finished the heptathlon with a score of 6,955 points, putting her 306 points in front of her closest rival and silver medallist, Germany’s Lilli Schwarzkopf.
Bronze medallist Tatyana Chernova from Russia ended up 327 points behind Jess on the final table.
August 5th, 2012 will go down in history as one of the most successful days in British sporting history – and Jess was proud to be a part of it.
“I can’t believe I’ve had the opportunity to come to my first Games in London and won an Olympic gold medal. It’s unbelievable,” she told reporters at the time.
It had been 12 years since a British athlete had won Olympic heptathlon gold. Denise Lewis last held the title when she competed the Sydney Games.
Not only had Jess earnt herself a gold medal, but fellow Team GB members Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford also claimed the top prize in the 10,000 metres and long jump respectively. In fact, it was hailed as Britain’s most successful day at the Olympic Games for 104 years.
Jess is one of three track and field athletes who will be looking to hold onto their Olympic titles in Rio this year.
“London was an incredible experience and the two journeys to London and Rio have been completely different, which I’ve really enjoyed,” Jess told the International Association of Athletics Federations.
“If I was able to defend my title in Rio, it will certainly be one of my greatest achievements.”
Don’t forget to check out Jess’ Rio schedule to find out when you can cheer her on!