Ennis-Hill is back in style

Ennis-Hill is back in style
Getty Images

Jessica Ennis-Hill was ecstatic at the finish of the women's heptathlon in Beijing knowing she had won gold.

Jessica Ennis-Hill was the European Female Athlete of 2012, and she is on the shortlist to regain the award after winning heptathlon gold in Beijing.

It is quite a trio because she is up against Dutch sprint sensation Dafne Schippers and Poland’s hammer world record-holder Anita Wlodarczyk.

Here we profile what has been a great summer for Ennis-Hill ahead of the Golden Tracks awards night in Lausanne on Saturday.

The European Male and Female athletes of the year and Rising Stars will be presented with their trophies at a televised gala evening which will be streamed live at www.european-athletics.org starting at 20:30 local time.

Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill had one aim this summer: if she was going to compete at the world championships it would only be as a genuine medal contender.

The fact she is in the running to be European Female Athlete of the Year on the back of winning gold in the heptathlon shows what an extraordinary comeback to the sport she had.

Thirteen months after the birth of son Reggie, Ennis-Hill found herself on top of the podium at the Bird Nest’s Stadium after a prolific two days of competition which proved even beyond her expectation.

A month before the world championships, the Great Britain athlete set three season’s bests at the Anniversary Games in London and these were her hopes for Beijing - if she decided to go.

"I know things can go wrong in the heptathlon," she said. "But if I feel I can contend for a silver medal but I come away with bronze, I would be absolutely ecstatic. But I want to win a medal."

And win a medal she did - the gold one.

"I am lost for words," said Ennis-Hill, who was the world champion in 2009. "I cannot believe I am here."

But no words were needed because her beaming face told the story.

The seeds of this success had been sown in London, over the two days of that IAAF Diamond League meeting at the end of July.

How fitting, then, that the Olympic Stadium, the scene of her triumph in 2012, should be the place for three fine performances, with the 100m hurdles (12.79) on the Friday night before a 6.37m in the long jump and a 200m of 23.49 on the Saturday afternoon.

Within a day Ennis-Hill and her coach Toni Minichiello had decided to go to Beijing, the first time she would compete in a championship heptathlon since London.

Having restarted full training last November, Ennis-Hill had returned to the multi-events themselves in Götzis in May when she was fourth (6520 points), a significant score because it meant she had qualified for the defence of her Olympic crown in Rio next summer.

But then in Beijing she raised the tempo.

She led after day one with 4005 points and took that to 6669 for gold ahead of Canada’s Brianne Theissen-Eaton (6554) and Latvia’s Laura Ikaunice-Admidina (6516).

Her main objective remains Rio. She wanted nothing to get in the way of that, but her exploits in August will only have made the rest know they need to work that bit harder because that is just what the Briton plans to do.

"I need to go away now and work on some areas in training, and get stronger and in much better shape," said Ennis-Hill, speaking to Sky Sports. "Hopefully I can do that over the winter and come back stronger next year,"