Saturday, 4 August 2012

Jessica Ennis: winning heptathlon gold at a home Olympic Games 'a dream come true’

Having maintained her composure amid such intense expectation over the two days of the heptathlon, Ennis was overcome with emotion during the national anthem as the magnitude of her achievement began to sink in.

“My reaction was a mixture of everything,” the 26 year-old from Sheffield said. “All the work I have put in, the past disappointments, thinking of my family and all the support I have had but just also to realise that I have achieved one of my greatest goals. You never think you will get there so, when you do, it is overwhelming. I’m so shocked, I can’t believe it.”

Ennis also revealed the feelings of self-doubt and huge pressure that she still experienced yesterday even while so utterly dominating the women’s heptathlon. “I was so nervous,” she said. “My long jump has been up and down all year. I kept thinking: 'Am I going to throw it away doing three no jumps?’ It was a massive relief to have got that right.

“I couldn’t let myself believe it until I crossed the finish line in the 800metres. There has been so much pressure put on me but I’ve had so much support as well. It’s been a really stressful year. I think everyone expected a gold medal. To complete it is a dream come true. It has been a brilliant couple of days.”

Ennis has long been regarded as 'the face’ of the London Olympics in a similar way to when Cathy Freeman won Olympic 400m gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 for Australia.

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