Jessica Ennis-Hill sends out warning shot to Rio rivals
Jessica Ennis-Hill fired out a major warning to her Olympic heptathlon rivals by running her second fastest ever time over 100 metres hurdles at the Muller Anniversary Games on Friday night.
The 30-year-old, back at the Olympic Stadium where she memorably took gold as the poster girl of London 2012, clocked 12.76 seconds to finish third and qualify for the final later in the evening.
It smashed her season’s best of 13.10secs and was her fastest time since the London Games, when she ran 12.54s.
It was also a clear sign the Sheffield athlete is very nearly back to her best, two years after giving birth to son Reggie and despite an Achilles problem earlier in the season.
Ennis-Hill’s huge smile when the time flashed up on the scoreboard told its own story.
Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton, the world leader in the heptathlon this year, will know that the Briton, who last month recorded her best heptathlon score since London 2012 with 6,733 points, is likely to now be the woman to beat in Rio.
The newly-laid track at the Olympic Stadium was clearly super quick and, in near-perfect conditions, Great Britain’s women’s 4x100m relay team also made a significant statement of intent ahead of the Olympics by setting a new national record and the fastest time in the world this year.
The quartet of Asha Philip, Desiree Henry, Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita claimed a dominant victory in 41.81, taking 0.29 off the previous British record, set last year.
The Holland team which beat Britain to gold at the recent European Championships in Amsterdam failed to finish.
Henry said: “Oh my god, this told the rest of the world, Rio 2016 we are coming here for a medal.”
Christine Ohuruogu emphatically justified her inclusion in the British team for the individual 400m in Rio by running the fastest time in the country this year at 51.05.
It was only good enough for fifth place as Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas took victory in a world-leading 49.55.
Ohuruogu, though, defeated Emily Diamond and Seren Bundy-Davies, who finished first and second at the British Championships.