Ennis sets heptathlon record in Gotzis

27 May 2012 / 15:24

Jessica Ennis answered her critics in resounding fashion by smashing the British heptathlon record of former Olympic champion Denise Lewis in Gotzis.

Ennis lost both her world titles in the space of seven months, but the 26-year-old from Sheffield hit back in brilliant style to record a third straight win at the Hypo Meeting with a new personal best of 6,906 points in her only heptathlon before the London Games.

That was 75 more than the previous record of 6,831 set by Lewis in 2000, shortly before she won Olympic gold in Sydney, and makes Ennis only the eighth woman ever to score more than 6,900.

Russia's Tatyana Chernova, who took Ennis' world title in Daegu last year, was 132 points behind in second, with Olympic champion Nataliya Dobrynska a distant ninth almost 600 points adrift.

Ennis had been keen to play down the possibility of the record on Saturday evening, despite a personal best of 22.88 seconds in the 200m giving her a first-day total of 4,113 points, 33 ahead of her score at the European Championships in Barcelona in 2010 when she set her previous PB of 6,823.

That was perhaps understandable given that poor performances in the javelin and long jump cost her the world outdoor title in Daegu last year and world indoor crown in Istanbul in March respectively, but this time there was emphatically no second-day stumble.

Ennis equalled her personal best of 6.51m in the long jump and then threw a personal best of 47.11m in the javelin, improving her previous mark by 40cm in the opening round and also producing consistent subsequent throws of 44.32m and 44.66m.

That left her needing to complete the 800m in a relatively pedestrian two minutes 14 seconds to break Lewis's record, but she made absolutely certain by clocking 2:09.00, leading from the gun before just being beaten to the line by Chernova.