By Josh Powell
She’s been the poster girl for Team GB since London won the right to host the games and today Jessica Ennis is making her mark on the heptathlon as she aims for gold.
The 26-year-old is a firm favourite for the heptathlon and blew away the competition this morning in the 100 metre hurdles. Ennis set a blistering time of 12.54 seconds which was not only her personal best, but it is a new British record and is the fastest time ever run in a heptathlon giving her a staggering points total of 1195. Five athletes in the race broke their personal bests but it is Ennis who holds the advantage.
What is more interesting from a punting point of view is that the time of 12.54 seconds would have won Ennis gold in the individual 100 metre hurdles final in seven of the last 10 Olympics. She would have won gold at four of the last five games yet is still a huge price to win this year’s competition.
Jessica Ennis 100m hurdles (Heptathlon 2012) – 12.54 seconds
- Beijing 2008 – Dawn Harper USA – 12.54 seconds
- Athens 2004 – Joanna Hayes USA – 12.37 seconds, an Olympic record
- Sydney 2000 – Olga Shishigina Kazakhstan – 12.65 seconds
- Atlanta 1996 – Ludmila Engquist Sweden – 12.58 seconds
- Barcelona 1992 – Voula Patoulidou Greece – 12.64 seconds
Jess is 13/1 to win the 100 metre hurdles on Tuesday which is an incredible price considering the time she posted in the heptathlon.
Australian Sally Pearson is the current 4/9 favourite for the race which is no surprise looking at her times. The 25-year-old won silver in Beijing and since then took the gold at the Commonwealth games and the world championships. At the 2011 world champs in South Korea Pearson posted a time of 12.28 which is the fourth-fastest time in history. It’s a staggeringly quick time that would blow the Olympic record away if she could produce it on the biggest stage.
But this is a completely different race. It’s on home soil for Ennis and you can guarantee the stadium will be packed with British fans cheering on the hero from Sheffield. Not only that but there is every chance Jess will be going into the 100 metre hurdles having already picked up gold in the heptathlon. Some people will question how much the heptathlon will take out of an athlete but it’s incredible how much confidence a gold medal can give you.
Pearson’s best time this year is a 12.40 that she clocked in Paris and there is no doubting the Australians quality. But at such a massive price it is hard to ignore Jess Ennis. Britain’s golden girl could well upset the odds in an electrifying race on Tuesday night.