Athletics icon and heptathlon star Jessica Ennis-Hill announced her retirement from athletics yesterday after admitting she wanted to leave her sport “on a high”
30-year-old athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill hinted at retirement after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games in August. However, in a recent Instagram post Ennis-Hill, also a double world champion, confirmed her decision saying it was, “one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make.”
Having returned to athletics after giving birth to her son in 2014, Ennis-Hill went on to triumph at the 2015 World Championships winning gold. However, she missed out on retaining her Olympic title in Rio by 35 points to Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam. Speaking afterwards, she said she would “not rush a decision” over ending her career.
In her statement yesterday she said: “Retiring now is right”, adding: “I want to thank my family and incredible team who have spent so much of their time supporting me and enabling me to achieve my dreams.”
BBC athletics commentator Brendan Foster described her as: “One of the all-time British greats. She was carrying the whole nation on her shoulders going into London 2012 and the pressure on her was immense, like nobody else.
“But she delivered an indelible memory which we shall never forget, it’s a sad day for the sport – but a great day for her.”
Ennis-Hill’s coach Toni Minichiello said she was, “one of our sporting greats” and the manner of her retirement was “fitting”.
Jessica Ennis-Hill won her first medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne at the age of 20, receiving bronze behind fellow British athlete Kelly Sotherton.
In the 2007 World Championships she missed out on a medal and was forced to take a year out due to injury, thus missing the Beijing Olympics. However, began her domination receiving gold at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.
She followed that up with another gold at the 2010 European Championships in Barcelona and silver at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu. She then headed home for the 2012 Olympics where she became a Britain’s overwhelming favourite.
She delivered gold on “Super Saturday”, winning a new British and Commonwealth record.
Jessica will be greatly missed, but will be remembered as a sporting inspiration to many aspiring athletes across the UK and the world.