THE crowning glory on Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis’ arrived this week when she was named Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year in Rio de Janeiro.
Jessica, aged 27, carried the hopes of the British nation in London at the Olympic Games and delivered in emphatic style as she dominated the heptathlon and won the gold medal with a British record score of 6,955 pts.
She was presented with the Laureus Statuette by Laureus World Sports Academy Member and winner of three Olympic golds in 1976, Nadia Comaneci.
Ennis said: “It is so surreal to stand here in front of all these amazing sportsmen and sportswomen. As a 10-year-old I came into sport and dreamed of being an Olympian and an Olympic champion. I’ve finally done it and it is an incredible feeling.
“The pressure on me was a lot. But I had the great support of my friends and family, the support of an amazing team around me who encouraged me and believed in me, and thankfully I was able to realise my dream.”
While the awards keep coming for Ennis she’s now setting her mind to regaining her world title in Moscow later this year. The challenge of beating great rival Tatyana Chernova in her home country will be tough but she’s also hoping to try and get close to 7,000 points in the heptathlon. She said: “It is definitely something I would love to do.
“It is a big challenge to replicate what I did in London and doing a little bit more is going to be really difficult, but it is something I am working towards.
“I don’t know about [doing it at] the Worlds. That is a big target.
“I am happy with the way training is going, but I think you never know - you can’t focus too hard on it.”
* Follow The Star sports writer Richard Fidler on Twitter @richardfidler and Google+ follow Richard Fidler on Google+. For breaking news keep checking The Star website or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sheffieldstar or Twitter at www.twitter.com/sheffieldstar”