Olympic Stories

Jessica Ennis - Pentathlon

Jessica Ennis - Pentathlon

Born January 28, 1986 in Sheffield, England, Jessica Ennis is a track and field star from Great Britain who will be representing her country in 2012’s upcoming Summer Olympic Games in London. Specializing in multiple events and also the 100m hurdles, Jessica is a multi-threat athlete whose talents are recognized around the world.

Jessica does most of her training in England, where she is a member of the City of Sheffield Athletic Club. Currently, Ennis holds the European title of World Heptathlon Champion and also the indoor Pentathlon Champion. 2012 may be Ennis’ first medal-winning run in the Olympic Games.

Sporting Career

Although Jessica Ennis has been very athletic since a child, she didn’t really break onto the scene until late 2003, where she competed at the World Youth Championships in Canada. Although she wouldn’t win in 2003, or in 2004 at the World Junior Championships in Italy, Ennis still made a big impression. When she finally won in 2005 at the European Athletics Junior Championships, everyone’s suspicions were confirmed – Jessica was a world-class athlete.

No longer a junior athlete in 2006, Ennis’ competition would greatly increase. Undeterred, Jessica entered the 2006 Commonwealth Games and took home a bronze medal, with a personal best score of over 6,200 points. Later that year, in the European Championships, she bested her previous high mark, but that was only good enough to win 8th place. Then, in 2007, Ennis shocked the athletic world when she beat out specialists and lifelong hurdlers in the 100m hurdle event at the British National Championships.

On a string of successes going into late 2007 and 2008, Jessica was really hoping to compete in the Olympics in Beijing. However, after complaining of pain in her foot, x-rays would reveal a series of stress fractures. Jessica would miss out on her Olympic opportunity. She took a full year off and didn’t compete again until the IAAF World Combined Events Challenge in 2009, winning the event handily.

Competing in a range of events, including hurdles and high jump events, Ennis continues to make her mark on the athletic world. Winning gold at the 2009 World Championships seemed like a walk in the park for this Briton, as she decimated the competition, finishing 238 points in front of silver medalist, Germany’s Jennifer Oeser. Then in 2010, Ennis would shock the world yet again after beating out world champion Lolo Jones in the 60m hurdles.

Unlike a lot of athletes you will find at the Olympics, Jessica Ennis is far from a one-trick pony. Swimmers swim, basketball players play ball, and runners run. Jessica Ennis does a little bit of everything, from hurdling and high jumping to throwing the shot put and javelin. Amazingly, Ennis excels at nearly every event in which she competes. This makes her one of the biggest threats going into the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and her presence decidedly makes Great Britain a favorite to win any event in which Ennis competes.

Career Highlights

  • 2005 Summer Universiade: Heptathlon – Bronze
  • 2006 Commonwealth Games: Heptathlon – Bronze
  • 2009 World Championships: Heptathlon – Gold
  • 2010 World Indoor Championships: Pentathlon – Gold
  • 2011 World Championships: Heptathlon – Silver
  • 2012 World Combined Events Challenge – 1st
  • 2012 Summer Olympics – Gold

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