Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Date Started: August 3, 2012
Date Finished: August 4, 2012
Format: Scoring by 1985 point tables.
The favorite coming in was Russian Tatyana Chernova, the 2011 World Champion, but British fans would not hear of that. All their hopes rested on Jessica Ennis, who had finished second at the 2011 Worlds. Chernova towered over Ennis, but the smaller Brit was very good in the hurdles and long jump, making up her for size disadvantage. Ukrainian Nataliya Dobrynska was the defending champion and considered a challenger for gold again. The three had shared the #1 world ranking since 2008, with Dobrynska leading in 2008, Ennis in 2009-10, and Chernova in 2011. Another medal contender was American Hyleas Fountain, the Beijing silver medalist, but she had injury issues. Both Fountain and Dobrynska would eventually drop out of the competition, Fountain after the javelin and Dobrynska after the long jump.
Ennis opened up with her best event, the high hurdles, and jumped to an early lead with 12.54, the best ever mark posted in a heptathlon, and one which would have placed her fourth in the open high hurdles. She maintained her lead with a 1.86 high jump, with Fountain moving into second place, only 25 points back. Chernova was only 16th after the second event. Chernova's gold medal hopes went awry in the shot put, when she posted only 14.17, not even equalling Ennis's throw of 14.28. Chernova was mired in 13th place, while Ennis dropped to second, behind Lithuanian Austra Skujytė, whose throw of 17.31 was an all-time heptathlon record. The first day ended with Ennis moving well back into the lead with a 200 time of 22.83 for 4,158 points, Skujtė in second but almost 200 points behind. Chernova moved up to ninth after day one.
On day two Chernova improved with a long jump of 6.54, which led the hept, and moved her up to third place. But Ennis nearly matched that with a jump of 6.48 and increased her lead over Skujtė to 258 points. Ennis then threw a PR 47.49 in the javelin which all but secured her the gold medal. Skujtė still trailed in second, with Chernova now only sixth.
The 800 began in the dark of a Saturday evening that would prove mystical for British fans. As Ennis was about to start her 800, British long jumper Greg Rutherford recorded a mark that would win him the gold medal a few moments later. Ennis refused to jog the 800, leading the first lap in 1:01.89, and coming home in 2:08.65 for a gold medal by over 300 points as the British crowd went crazy. Behind her, German Lilli Schwarzkopf moved up from fifth place with a 2:10.50 to earn silver, and Chernova's 2:09.56 brought her the bronze medal, as Skujtė could only run 2:20.59 and dropped back to fifth, also trailing Ukrainian Liudmyla Iosypenko.
Shortly after Ennis won her gold medal, the men's 10,000 metres started and Britain's Mo Farah won another British gold medal, to the delight of the adoring crowd. Three British golds in one night were highlighted by Jessica Ennis proving herself the world's greatest woman athlete.
|1||Jessica Ennis||26||Great Britain||GBR||Gold||6955|
|6||Antoinette Nana Djimou||26||France||FRA||6576|
|15||Katarina Johnson-Thompson||19||Great Britain||GBR||6267|
|16||Sharon Day||27||United States||USA||6232|
|18||Eliška Klučinová||24||Czech Republic||CZE||6109|
|21||Marisa de Aniceto||25||France||FRA||6030|
|26||Sarah Cowley||28||New Zealand||NZL||5873|
|27||Louise Hazel||26||Great Britain||GBR||5856|
|29||Chantae McMillan||24||United States||USA||5688|
|AC||Hyleas Fountain||31||United States||USA||DNF|