Ennis-Hill hits Rio heptathlon qualifying standard in Gotzis

A promising start was how Jessica Ennis-Hill described her Gotzis Hypo-Meeting outing as she marked her heptathlon return by hitting the qualification mark for Rio 2016.

Ennis-Hill, competing in her first heptathlon since winning gold at London 2012 after a break due to injuries and the birth of her son, finished fourth with a total of 6,520 points.

It was 288 behind overall winner Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Canada but crucially 320 points more than the 6,200 Rio qualifying standard.

The 29-year-old had been fourth overall after day one, having collected 4,031 points from the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m.

She then recorded a best of 6.16m in the long jump before a 42.60m mark in the javelin saw her fall down the field.

But the Olympic champion saved her best performance until last, leading from the start of the 800m to pip Theisen-Eaton to the line in 2:09.21 minutes.

Her points tally was some way short of her British record 6,955 on the way to gold in London 2012.

But after a lengthy absence as well as the recent disruption of a troubling Achilles, Ennis-Hill, who’s fourth-place finish secured qualification for this summer’s World Championships, was delighted to be back in the competition arena.

“It was scary to come back into this environment again but I’ve had such a good time,” she said. “It’s just been perfect weather, a perfect crowd and a great competition.

“I was generally really pleased with my score. I didn’t quite expect to score that high. I’m disappointed with a few events, just because it’s so far away from my best.

“There’s a lot of work to be done when I get home but it’s a really promising start to the season.”

© Sportsbeat 2015