Ennis-Hill in gold medal position after day one in Beijing

In front: Great Britain's Jessica Ennis-HIll is in gold medal positiion after the first day in the World Championships heptathlon. She salutes the crowd after the 200 Metres  Photo credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

In front: Great Britain's Jessica Ennis-HIll is in gold medal positiion after the first day in the World Championships heptathlon. She salutes the crowd after the 200 Metres Photo credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

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Jessica Ennis-Hill returned to the global stage in a manner befitting an Olympic champion as she lay in gold medal position after day one of the heptathlon at the World Championships in Beijing.

The 29-year-old, in her first major championship since London 2012 and 13 months after the birth of her son Reggie, was on 4,005 points, with team-mate Katarina Johnson-Thompson 80 points back in second.

Great Britain team mate Katarina Johnson-Thompson (right) and ''''Jessica Ennis-HIl, seconnd left, and Great Britain team mate Katarina Johnson-Thompson (right)at the end of the n the 200 Metres. Photo : Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Great Britain team mate Katarina Johnson-Thompson (right) and ''''Jessica Ennis-HIl, seconnd left, and Great Britain team mate Katarina Johnson-Thompson (right)at the end of the n the 200 Metres. Photo : Adam Davy/PA Wire.

The pair finished an impressive day in emphatic fashion with season’s bests in the 200 metres, the fourth event of the competition.

World number one and favourite, Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton, was in fourth place overall on 3,865 points.

Ennis-Hill said told the BBC: “I had that feeling of slight disappointment because I’m always comparing myself to my best, but I’m really pleased with the scores I have.

“I had some solid events, I feel there’s a lot more to come, which is frustrating, but generally really, really happy.”

Ennis-Hill began a scorching morning at the Bird’s Nest stadium by clocking 12.91 seconds over the 100m hurdles and equalling her season’s best of 1.86m in the high jump.

Ennis-Hill’s time over the barriers was 0.12secs down on that which she ran at the Anniversary Games in London in her last outing, but it was still a decent return to the world stage.

And the Olympic champion, who only returned to competition three months ago, looked smooth in the high jump with first-time clearances all the way to 1.86m before going no further.

She then threw 13.73m in the shot. It was the Sheffield athlete’s most disappointing result of the three, 22 centimetres below her best throw of the year.

But her 200m time of 23.42s was second best only to Johnson-Thompson’s 23.08.

Johnson-Thompson raced to a personal best of 13.37 in the hurdles, but lived dangerously in the high jump, one of her strongest events, before finally clearing 1.89m, the only athlete to do so.

Her high jump was rather erratic, needing third and final attempts to get past 1.80m, her opening height, and 1.89m after struggling to get the timing of her run-up to the bar right.

But her 12.47m in the shot was just 2cm down on her PB.

“Kat’s doing amazing, she’s doing PBs, so it’s definitely going to be a battle and hopefully we’ll get a couple of medals,” Ennis-Hill added.

Johnson-Thompson said: “It’s been a good day one for me. The high jump was a bit nerve wracking. I had a bit of a faulty run-up so I’m happy that didn’t all end in tears.”

The pair are going head to head over seven events for the first time since London 2012 and have the long jump, javelin and 800m to come on Sunday.

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