Steely Ennis has golden glow
Jessica Ennis says that, should there ever be a film made of her life, she would like Eva Longoria to play the lead role.
Eva: get your weights out, break out the protein shakes, swap your high heels for the high jump and insert your own 'handling a javelin' joke here. The biopic could be on the horizon.
In the last two days in Berlin, Ennis has metamorphosed from talented contender to proven champion, just when British athletics was starting to wonder where the next star might be coming from.
It's one thing to come into a world championship as the favourite, quite another to produce your best ever score when all eyes are on you and the best heptathletes on the planet are chasing you down.
It was hard to decide what was the most impressive element of Ennis's performance.
There was dealing with the pressure of being Britain's main hope for a gold, finding a personal best in the very last round of the shot put and compiling a first-day total bettered in history only by the legendary Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Carolina Kluft.
Then there was the remodelled long jump off what used to be her wrong foot, a javelin five and a half metres longer than she managed at her previous Worlds and staying in gold medal position from the very first event to the last.
Ennis might be a newish name to the general sporting fan, but her win in Germany has been a long time and a lot of hard work coming.
Even basic biology made it tough for her. Not only is she small for a heptathlete, she's small for her family. Her Derbyshire-born mother is 5'11", her Jamaica-born father dad 6'2" and her younger sister 5'10", but Ennis herself is just 5'5".
"She is able to pack a lot of power into that small frame," explains athletics great Michael Johnson. "She's very technically sound in all of the events and she's able to make adjustments in competition. She's also mentally tough. She doesn't get too high when things are good and she doesn't get too down when they're not."
Ennis's early sporting talent first surfaced at King Ecgbert School in her hometown of Sheffield. It was developed at the City of Sheffield Athletic Club and honed by coach Tony Minichiello at the English Institute of Sport and Don Valley facilities.
Because of her diminutive size, Ennis has had to put in the hours with her throws. Having failed to get past 40 metres with the javelin at both the 2006 Europeans and 2007 Worlds, she sought out fomer GB international Mick Hill to add on the distance that would allow her to compete with the best. When a triple stress fracture ruled her out of the Olympics last year, she decided to switch her long jump take-off feet and start from scratch all over again.
Here in Germany, she has reaped the dividends of all that hard work and in doing so has become part of Britain's long and proud history in the multi-events, stretching back to Mary Peters in Munich in 1972, through Daley Thompson's Olympic golds of 1980 and 1984 and Denise Lewis's gold in Sydney to Dean Macey's silver at the Worlds 10 years ago and Commonwealth gold in 2006.
"Jessica has a nicely balanced performance, not outstanding in any event, but good at them all," Peters said recently. "She performs so well, both as a personality and as an athlete. She will be an inspiration to another generation."
For Jonathan Edwards, it's the mental strength of psychology graduate Ennis that sets her apart from most 23-year-olds.
"The most impressive thing has the been the way she managed herself," he says. "She had never been in this position at a big championships before, but despite that she never really looked in trouble."
There should be more to come. Ennis will surely add distance to her long jump as she becomes accustomed to the new take-off, put extra metres on her javelin and bring her hurdles time down even closer to the British record.
"I'm so proud of her," said Lewis. "She has performed out of her skin. She was here on a mission. She knew what she could do and she did it from the start."
Charles van Commenee, Sebastian Coe, Tessa Jowell - all will be breathing a big sigh of relief. Ennis can get ready for a whole heap more pressure.
Barely was the gold medal confirmed as hers when thoughts began to race forward to London's own Olympic Stadium in three summers' time.
At a time when potential home-grown Olympic champions are as thin on the ground as vegans in Berlin, the coronation of Ennis as world champion could not have come at a better time for the bigwigs charged with delivering a successful Games.
Each Olympics needs a golden moment in the main stadium from one of its own. The one slight blemish on China's medal record in Beijing last year was the lack of a track and field gold. Once Liu Xiang's injury had forced him out of the 110m hurdles, the Bird's Nest was denied the chance to celebrate a home success.
Athens had Fani Halkia in the 400m hurdles, in Sydney there was Cathy Freeman in the 400m, while Michael Johnson triumphed twice in Atlanta and Fermin Cacho and compatriots shone in the 1500m in Barcelona.
Ennis, and to a lesser extent her team-mate Christine Ohuruogu, will now be the figurehead for London's hopes. On the evidence of this weekend, the former has the resources in place to handle it.