Three years on, the memories of golden girl Jessica Ennis and ‘Super Saturday’ will never fade

Jessica Enniss celebrates after winning gold in the 2012 London Olympics
Jessica Enniss celebrates after winning gold in the 2012 London Olympics
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Can it really be three years ago since British athletics had its greatest ever night?

Super Saturday has gone down in sporting folklore as the evening when Brittania ruled the track and field as Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah stormed to gold medals within the space of an hour.

A lot has changed since then.

Jess is now Mrs Ennis-Hill, has had her first child, battled Achilles injuries and barely competed yet she still will head to Rio next summer as one of the favourites for gold.

Farah has seen his reputation called into question (wrongly in my opinion) by association with coach Alberto Salazar. However, Farah is still the dominant athlete in track distance running.

Rutherford is still destined to be the quiz question of who was the first to win gold on Super Saturday. The long jumper hasn’t been able to maximise his achievement in the same was as Jess or Farah but will back himself to defend his gold medal in Rio.

On that night the atmosphere inside the Olympic Stadium was incredible.

The day before Jess had produced the most unbelievable 100 metre hurdles of her life to give herself a lead in the heptathlon which her fellow competitors would struggle to overcome. There has a lot been said about Jess being the only British Olympian who was expected to win gold - anything less being a failure.

That is true in one sense but within the stadium the feeling wasn’t one of pressure - although Jess herself may beg to differ!

It felt like watching an athlete who was so clearly in the form of her life that it was a matter of enjoying the occasion. As the events ticked by from hurdlers to high jump to shot put to the final test of the first day - the 200m - no one could get near her.

I’ve always enjoyed watching Jess in the 200m more than any other event.

She’s one of the quickest heptathletes and it also really demonstrates her strength to squeeze vital extra points out of the end of a gruelling first day.

I managed the briefest of chats with her as she made her way through the mixed zone, where media members can chat to the athletes, on the way back to the changing room.

And then it was on to Super Saturday.

The morning had gone as planned. A strong long jump was followed by no mistakes in the javelin.

All Jess had to do was get around the two laps of the 800m in the evening session to win her gold medal.

Unlike Rutherford’s or Farah’s medal by the time Jess won hers it seemed like foregone conclusion. Being the only journalist from Sheffield in the stadium that night made it even more special.

I’d covered every run, throw and jump of Jess’s career since she was sixth former at King Egbert’s school and here she was about to win a gold medal.

As we all can remember she sprinted to down the home straight to beat bitter rival Tatyana Chernova of Russia and seal her triumph by winning the 800m.

The noise was like no other I’d heard at sporting event before or since. In my opinion it topped those for Farah in either of his victories.

After Jess had been presented with her gold medal by Lord Coe there were the usual round of media interviews.

I managed to get a spot just in front of the platform where the athletes sat and shared a smile and a ‘you did it!’ with the country’s new golden girl.

And then it was back to work as the party continued inside the stadium with Farah’s heroics.

Super Saturday showed how important sport is to British people. For that one evening we were the best in the world and weren’t afraid to shout about it.