OLYMPICS: I want to achieve more, says Sheffield’s Olympic queen Jessica Ennis - VIDEO

Share this article
Have your say

SHEFFIELD’S Olympic queen Jessica Ennis insists she has no plans to quit the heptathlon despite getting married next year and wants to achieve even more.

But she admits her Olympic triumph on home soil will be “hard to top”.

Olympic kiss: Sheffield's Jessica Ennis kisses her Gold Medal after winning the Heptathlon at the Olympic Stadium, London. Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

Olympic kiss: Sheffield's Jessica Ennis kisses her Gold Medal after winning the Heptathlon at the Olympic Stadium, London. Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video chat with golden girl Jessica.

Ennis used the task of planning her wedding as a welcome distraction from the enormous pressure of being Britain’s golden girl in the build-up to London 2012, while she will be 30 years old by the time of the next Games in Rio in 2016.

She also plans to concentrate on just the 100m hurdles at some point in future, especially after running 12.54 seconds in the opening event of heptathlon on Friday morning - a British record in the individual event and the same time which won Olympic gold in Beijing.

The Sheffield athlete’s win was followed by further gold medals for Greg Rutherford in the long jump and Mo Farah in the 10,000m, all in front of 80,000 people in the space of 45 minutes, and Ennis said: “I think it will be very hard to top that, it’s going to be one of my greatest moments, but I am still only 26.

“I think I have a few more years left and I want to keep going. I have come away from this with no problems apart from soreness and tiredness from the event. I definitely want to have a bit of a break now and switch off and enjoy life, but I definitely want to achieve a little bit more in the sport.”

Ennis had entered the individual 100m hurdles as a back-up if anything went badly wrong in the heptathlon, but opted not to compete in the heats on Monday morning despite her stunning performance on Friday.

“I never really had any great intentions of doing it because the heptathlon was my main focus, but then when I ran the time I did in the hurdles it kind of made me think ‘Ooh, should I give it a go?’,” Ennis added.

“But this is what I’ve worked so hard for and I just want to enjoy this moment and make the most of it. And to be honest the way I am feeling tired wise, my body is aching, I don’t think I could be at the level I needed to be in the heats.

“I’m made up with that time and to run it when I needed it most in London, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The hurdles is something I’ve said I want to give a go in the future and now I know that I’m capable of running those times hopefully I can do something in that event.”

Ennis admitted she was overwhelmed and on the verge of tears after a personal best in the javelin, the sixth event, gave her a 188-point lead which meant only an injury or fall could prevent her claiming gold.

But she also had one eye on running another PB of 2:05.69 in the 800m to become only the fourth woman to score 7,000 points.

“I did think about it a bit but I didn’t want to do anything stupid and perhaps blow up,” added Ennis, who won in a time of 2:08.65 to finish with 6,955 points. “I think with a bit more time I can get the time down but it’s the nerves and adrenalin beforehand that can affect it.

“I always said 7,000 is ridiculous, I can’t get anywhere near that, but now it’s definitely within reach.”

Ennis paid tribute to her parents Vinnie and Alison and fiance Andy for helping her cope with the pressure, and also Toni Minichiello, who has coached her since she was 13.

“I can talk about it openly now because it’s done,” the former world champion added. “I was really aware of all the pressure and what people were expecting me to do. Everyone was expecting me to win.

“I’ve had a few moments at home with my fiance worrying a bit and wondering if it was all going to go right or something would happen and fall apart. It was a huge amount of pressure but a unique position I was in and I wanted to make the most of that opportunity and make sure I trained as hard as I could and delivered on the two days. Thankfully I can sit here and say that I did.

“My parents have been a huge part of my whole journey up to this point. They got me involved in athletics in the first place. I had the disappointment of not making the team in Beijing and them buying the tickets and losing a lot of money, so now they were actually here in London to witness me win was an amazing feeling.

“It was great going to Portugal (the UK Athletics holding camp) to get away from it all; all you do is train, eat and sleep. I didn’t go on Twitter and shut myself off from everything because if you read all the different things that are written about you it can start eating away at you and you might start doubting yourself.

“The past couple of days I have tried to switch off as much as I can and not think about who is in the stadium watching and what’s happening at home because it adds to the pressure, but I can’t wait to get home and see everyone.

“Before I came out I had so many lovely messages and cards through the door from kids that go to school in my area.”

As for Minichiello, Ennis added: “Toni has played a massive part. He’s been with me every step of the way and he has coached me from a 13-year-old who knew nothing about athletics and he taught me all the events and helped me grow as an athlete.

“I can’t thank him enough for the time and dedication he has given to me over the years. I saw him in the crowd after the 800m and tried to reach him but couldn’t get him. I saw him after the mixed zone and he gave me a big hug which is unheard of for Toni, so I think he is happy.”