LONDON, Aug 5: Jessica Ennis won the Olympic heptathlon gold medal on Saturday, the first for Britain on the track at the London Games.

Ennis started with a record in the hurdles and finished it off almost 36 hours later with an 800-metre run that was more like two victory laps of the packed, 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium.

Ennis went into the last of her seven events with a lead of 188 points over Austra Skujyte of Lithuania and extended her margin by winning the last race in 2 minutes, 8.65 seconds.

She posted a total of 6,955 points, a British record. World champion Tatyana Chernova of Russia, a strong second-day performer, initially was classified in second place and Lyudmyla Yosypenko of Ukraine was third but the results were later changed after a protest.

Lilli Schwarzkopf of Germany was promoted to silver with 6,649 points and Chernova was demoted to third place, still with 6,628 points. Yosypenko of Ukraine finished fourth with 6,618.

Schwarzkopf finished in fourth place in the 800 but was initially disqualified for running outside her lane. She was reinstated following a protest before a counter-protest from the Ukrainian team was rejected.

The capacity crowd went wild as Ennis collapsed over the line. She sobbed at the end, then carried a Union flag around the track.

“I am so shocked I can’t believe it,” a tearful Ennis said. “After the javelin I knew I was on for a good score and that medal but I couldn’t even let myself believe it until I crossed the finish line.

“After the disappointment in Beijing, I am just so happy I want to thank everyone who has supported me, they have been amazing.”—AP


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