JESSICA Ennis must have dreamed of her first event at the Olympic Games a million times.
It’s safe to bet that even in her wildest thoughts she never would have imagined the supersonic time she set in the 100 metre hurdles.
Pressure? What pressure she seemed to be saying as she blitzed over the 10 barriers to record the fastest mark ever by a British athlete in 12.54 seconds. So quick was she that if she had been running in the 100m hurdles final in Beijing four years ago she would have been level with gold medal winner Dawn Harper.
The pace was so hot that is was within three one hundreths of a second of being the quickest ever 100m hurdles on British soil. That record, set in 1986 when Ennis was just nine months old, remains with Ginka Zagorcheva of Bulgaria for now.
As a final quirk it brought the UK record back to South Yorkshire after naturalised Brit Tiffany Porter beat Barnsley’s Angie Thorp’s mark.
The victory was enough to give her a points total of 1,195 and a comfortable lead over main challengers Nataliya Dobrynska and Tatyana Chernova.
However, American Hyleas Fountain, another strong contender, had pushed her all the way and had set a personal best of 12.70. And it was Fountain that looked as though she may snatch the No1 spot of Ennis during the second event
of the day - the high
All the main protaganists had entered the high jump at 1.74m but while Ennis needed two attempts to get over 1.80 and three for 1.86, Fountain looked superb.
It was only when the 31-year-old reached 1.89 that she faltered. Ennis did too and the pair watched as Lithuanian Austra Skujyte cleared 1.92 to win .
The morning ended with Ennis in the lead on 2,249 points ahead of America’s Hyleas Fountain in second on 2,224 and 19-year-old Briton Katarina Johnson-Thomson on 2,146.