Saturday, August 04, 2012

Come on Jess!



Being fortunate to be at home and watching pretty much ten hours of uninterrupted television coverage yesterday there were some real hairs standing on the back of your neck moments. The swimming, rowing, cycling, judo and boxing all carried on the good work of the previous days, but watching the start of the athletics is for me the point at which the games really begin.

There was really only one person the 80,000 people in the Olympic Stadium had come to see and the millions watching around the country had tuned in to watch and that was Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon. You could only imagine the reaction she was going to get when her name was announced after the names of fellow British athletes Louise Hazel and Katarina Johnson-Thompson had drawn such a huge response. For Johnson-Thompson the sound that greeted her name at the start of the 100m hurdles resulted in one of the great television moments of the games so far (and there have been many) when she said, "Oh my god," and covered her mouth with her hand.

Jess didn't disappoint and whilst there will always be arguments about 'fast' and 'slow' tracks there was no doubt that when she crossed the line at the end of the first event she had set the fastest time ever by a heptathlete.

Things didn't go so well in the afternoon with the high jump and the shot, two events she historically has not been at her best in, but her 200 metres run was superb and she finished the first of her two days in the stadium on  4,158 points, 184 clear of the second place athlete. 

 More importantly, she leads world champion Tatyana Chernova by 309 points and reigning Olympic champion Nataliya Dobrynska by 323.

The second day's events though will decide the destiny of the medals and whilst Jess will have home support behind her she will know that the second day is the stronger of the two for her main rivals and she will have to do something spectacular in the long jump.

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