The second of Britain’s great hopes for World Championship gold had to settle for silver on Tuesday as Jessica Ennis failed to retain her heptathlon title in Daegu.
Two days after Mo Farah was narrowly beaten in the 10,000metres, Ennis saw her unbeaten run come to an end as Russia’s Tatyana Chernova took gold by 129 points, despite finishing behind Ennis in five of the seven events.
Chernova set two personal bests and four season’s bests in the two days of competition, but it was the Sheffield woman’s poor performance in the javelin which proved the difference.
Ennis trailed Chernova by 133 points going into the final event, the 800metres, which represented a massive time difference of around nine seconds.
And although the 25-year-old recorded a new personal best of two minutes 07.81 seconds in finishing second, Chernova was just a stride behind in third, raising her arms in delight as she crossed the line.
With 6,751 points, Ennis scored 20 more than when winning the title in Berlin two years ago, and even her personal best of 6,823 would not have been enough with Chernova finishing with 6,880.
Ennis held a 151-point lead coming into the second day of competition after recovering from a slightly sub-par performance in the 100m hurdles and high jump with a personal best in the shot and victory over 200m.
She then equalled her personal best in the long jump with 6.51m in the second round, seeing her lead cut to 118 points as Chernova jumped 10cm further.
However, Chernova then threw 52.95m in the first pool of the javelin, while Ennis could only manage 39.95m in the second pool an hour later after twice slipping on the runway.
Asked if she was disappointed with silver, Ennis said: “If I’m honest yes, I came here to get gold. Unfortunately the javelin was a big disaster for me but still it’s a silver medal and if I have to do it (win silver not gold), do it here. Next year (2012 Olympics) is where I want the gold.”
Full analysis in Wednesday’s Star