OLYMPICS: Gold for Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis is ‘moment of the Games’

Gold: Sheffield's Jessica Ennis celebrates winning the Heptathlon, after the 800m event at the Olympic Stadium. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Gold: Sheffield's Jessica Ennis celebrates winning the Heptathlon, after the 800m event at the Olympic Stadium. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

SHEFFIELD’S Jessica Ennis has done it - she’s the heptahlon Olympic champion and her gold medal glory is being described as “the moment of the Games”, writes Graham Walker.

What was always billed as Super Saturday at the London Olympic stadium turned into the greatest night in British athletics history - with gold also for Mo Farah in the 10,000m and long jumper Greg Rutherford.

But the night belonged to the poster girl of the Games who absored all the pressure and delivered what the country expected of her - and more.

Setting a new GB heptathlon record Jess was crowned the greatest all-round female athlete on the planet in front of her home crowd.

And back home at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium, where her athletics career began, around 2,000 people at Sheftival, a music and sports festival timed to coincide with her bid for gold, gathered to cheer on her amazing triumph on a big screen.

Diver Tom Daley summed up the feelings of everyone in teh country when he tweeted: “Absolutely amazing Jess!!! Congratulations! Moment of the games right there!!”

Fellow Sheffielder, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called for her to be given the freedom of her home city.

Mr Clegg, who is MP for Sheffield Hallam, said: “As a Sheffield MP, seeing local girl Jess win gold has been the highlight of the Olympics so far. Her truly inspirational victory has done our country and Sheffield proud.”

Even the Prime Minister David Cameron got in on it.

He tweeted: “Awe inspiring win for Jessica Ennis. Proud to be cheering her on with the home crowd. Atmosphere electric on #SuperSaturday”.

Sir Chris Hoy said on Twitter: “That’s how to do it!! Finish the job in style! Just superb @J_Ennis !!!!

Mark Cavendish tweeted: “I don’t normally stand up off the sofa for much other than cycling, but I did just that while watching @J_Ennis bring home heptathlon Gold!”

Denise Lewis, a former gold medal heptathlete herself, told the BBC: “It’s hard to find the words. We’ve witnessed greatness. She has been outstanding, she has been remarkable. She’s by far one of the most popular athletes we’ve seen in a very long time.”

And sports presenter Gabby Logan tweeted: “That was just brilliant. She has taken all the pressure, the expectation and delivered. A truly Great Briton. Jess Ennis you are a Goddess.”

Councillor Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “The whole of Sheffield is buzzing with excitement and filled with pride for our Olympic Champion, Jessica Ennis. A homegrown gold medal winner being born and bred in the city.

“Jessica is truly ‘Made in Sheffield’ and we are bursting with joy to see her take Olympic gold.

“After being unable to compete in Beijing in 2008 due to injury, taking gold in London in 2012 is fantastic news and well deserved. I know the whole city has been behind her throughout her Olympic journey, and yet again she has done us proud!

“Jessica is known and admired by sports fans across the world and is an ideal role model for young people not only here in Sheffield but nationally.

“She is a great ambassador for the city and a fantastic role model to inspire and encourage our next generation of rising sports stars.”

Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP David Blunkett said: “She is the princess of Sheffield, who has lifted the hearts of the nation and provided an inspiration for the young athletes of the future.”