DAEGU, South Korea, (Reuters) – Jessica Ennis, Britain’s brightest hope for athletics gold at next year’s London Olympics, lost her heptathlon world title to Russia’s Tatyana Chernova yesterday.
The 25-year-old Ennis trailed the Olympic bronze medallist by 133 points going into the seventh and final event of the competition and the Russian was able to protect her commanding lead comfortably in the 800 metres.
Chernova clocked her season’s best time of two minutes 08.04 seconds to clinch the gold with 6,880 points, while Ennis’s personal best of 2.07.81 was only good enough for silver with 6,751. Jennifer Oeser of Germany took bronze with 6,572 points.
Bidding to become the first Britain to retain a world title, Ennis had held a 118-point lead after the morning’s long jump but her chances of retaining the title she won two years ago all but disappeared in the second event, the javelin throw.
While Chernova managed a best of 52.95 metres with her second attempt in blinding sunshine at the Daegu stadium, Ennis was left counting the cost of failing to register a throw over 39.95.
Britain has had a less than inspiring world championships approaching the halfway stage of the event.
Olympic and former world champion Christine Ohuruogu was disqualified from the 400m heats for a false start as was veteran sprinter Dwain Chambers from the semi-finals of the 100m.