Jessica Ennis-Hill (coach: Toni Minichiello) today announced her retirement from athletics following an inspirational career which spanned more than 15 years and saw her top podiums on the Olympic, World and European stage in the heptathlon.
Having won gold at the European junior championships in 2005, Ennis-Hill went on to represent England at the 2006 Commonwealth Games – a competition in which she won bronze, an indication of the success that was to follow in the years to come.
2009 saw her first global medal as a senior when she secured gold at the World championships in Berlin, the first ever British gold in the heptathlon at the World championships. A year later she added the European title to her growing list of accolades, with a second World medal following in 2011, with silver in Daegu.
Her finest hour came at the London 2012 Olympic Games, when she claimed Olympic gold in front of a home crowd on an unforgettable ‘Super Saturday’ in the stadium. In becoming Olympic champion, Ennis-Hill became the first British woman to ever win Olympic and World gold in the discipline.
Last year Jess returned triumphantly to the sport following the birth of her son Reggie, winning a second World title in Beijing to confirm her status as the most decorated British heptathlete of all time.
This summer’s Olympic Games saw Ennis-Hill compete at her second Games where she claimed silver for Great Britain, with another stirring performance in what was to be her final ever competition.
She has broken British records countless times and retires as the current British record holder in the Heptathlon.
Speaking on the decision, Ennis-Hill said: “From my first world title in Berlin 2009 to Rio 2016 I’m so fortunate to have had such an amazing career within the sport I love, and this has been one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make, but I know that retiring now is right.
“I’ve always said I want to leave my sport on a high and have no regrets and I can truly say that, but I know that retiring now is right.
“I want to thank my family and incredible team who have spent so much of their time supporting me and enabling me to achieve my dreams. Also a huge thank you to all those people who have supported and followed my career over the years.”
Neil Black, Performance Director for British Athletics, spoke on the decision, saying: “I know it will have been incredibly difficult for Jess, but I am pleased for her that she has been able to make the decision and can now look forward to a much deserved retirement.
“The entire performance team of coaches, athletes and support staff will miss her at events. Not only has she competed at the highest level, but she has been a warm and positive presence within the GB team and a great example to the younger team members.
“Her record as an athlete is phenomenal and that’s without considering the challenges of returning from pregnancy to win World gold and Olympic silver.
I’d like to thank her not only for her contribution to the GB team over the years, but additionally for being a great person to work with, know and support.”