Jessica Ennis one event from Olympics heptathlon gold

 

Jessica Ennis is on the brink of sealing Olympic heptathlon gold going into Saturday evening's final event.

Ennis delivered in style during the morning session, producing a brilliant long jump under great pressure and a javelin personal best to lead by 188 points with just the 800m to go.

With Ennis's two-lap personal best seven seconds faster than that of second-placed Austra Skujyte, it would take injury or a complete collapse of form now to deny the 26-year-old victory on her Olympic debut.

Ennis's race at 20:59 BST should thus see her win Britain's first track and field gold of these home Olympics.

She told BBC Sport: "It's been a brilliant day. Having such a good day yesterday meant I was a little bit apprehensive that something would go wrong the next day.

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"Jessica Ennis was probably the best prepared athlete coming into the Games, with her face plastered everywhere. She has a very even demeanour and that means she can focus and block everything out. The mental preparation and the ability to focus makes her a great person."

"I was pretty nervous before the long jump but I'm made up to have made those two performances today.

"I'm so nervous but it does help having this crowd. There's lots of pressure but it's a nice pressure - it's people wanting you to do well.

"I'm not even thinking about [the gold medal] until I cross the line. I'd love to score over 7,000 points but I'll go and rest and see what I've got in my legs."

Ennis's tally after six of the seven events is 5,971 points to Skujyte's 5,783, with Ukraine's Lyudmila Yosypenko third on 5,701 and reigning world champion Tatyana Chernova slipping to sixth, 314 points down on the Briton.

She is on track to smash her own British record of 6,906, and if she clocks 2 mins 05.69 secs or better in the 800m will break the magical 7,000-point mark.

That would be two seconds faster than her PB, but even matching that existing mark would see her go to fifth on the all-time list.

Her javelin PB of 47.49m was greeted with delight by the 80,000-strong partisan home crowd, and with Chernova way down on her best with 46.29m there was a sense that the toughest battle of Ennis's career was close to being won.

Her 19-year-old compatriot Katarina Johnson-Thompson - newly crowned world junior long jump champion - sits in 16th on 5,313 points, on track to set a junior world record.

But Britain's Louise Hazel, Commonwealth champion, is down in 30th after a poor high jump on day one.

Reigning Olympic champion Nataliya Dobrynska retired from the competition after struggling badly in the morning's long jump.