Ennis focuses on 2012 after disastrous javelin skewers golden hopes

Sheffield athlete promises to 'work a bit harder' to ensure Olympic victory in London after she loses title to talented Russian Chernova

It was probably not the coronation the head of the London 2012 Local Organising Committee had envisaged. When Sebastian Coe stepped forward to present the medals after the completion of the World Championship heptathlon yesterday, he found himself crowning a new global queen of the seven-event test of all-round athletic excellence. A Russian queen.

Before Tatyana Chernova received her reward for dethroning the pre-competition favourite, Jessica Ennis collected the runner-up prize from another great British athlete forged in Sheffield. She did so with a smile on her face and a wave to the crowd – not quite in the fashion of Lord Coe, back in his days as plain Seb, when he was presented with the Olympic 800m silver medal after losing to Steve Ovett in Moscow in 1980. "It was as though he was receiving a turd," Clive James observed at the time.

Having got herself in a mess by fouling up in the penultimate event yesterday, the javelin, Ennis was never going to come up smelling of roses, with a gold medal around her neck. She had thrown the spear some 45m in warm-up, yet when the pressure was on, after Chernova unleashed a mighty effort of 52.98m, the woman from the Steel City buckled, managing a best of only 39.95m – her worst mark in a heptathlon since 2007.

That left Ennis needing to beat Chernova by eight seconds in the final event, the 800m. It was never going to happen, barring the cunning plan suggested by the phantom tweeter Charles van Comedy being put into operation: "Texting Jenny Meadows, 'Throw on a dark wig, grab a quick spray tan and swap places with Jess in 800'."

As it was, true to her nature, Ennis gave it everything, haring round the first 200m in 28.33sec, through the bell in 60sec, and finishing in 2min 07.81sec, a personal best. It was not enough. Chernova finished hard on her heels, raising her arms in celebration as she crossed the line in 2:08.04.

Ennis sank to her knees on the Daegu Stadium track but was quickly up on her feet, stretching to embrace the 23-year-old Russian victor. Chernova – at 6ft 2in, taller by 10 inches – had finished behind her in all but two of the seven events (the javelin and the long jump) yet finished head and shoulders above on the scoreboard, the winner by 129 points. It was small consolation to Ennis, who amassed 6,751 points, that even her lifetime best score (6,823) would not have been sufficient to earn her a niche in the history books as the first British athlete to win back-to-back World Championship titles.

It took Chernova five years to fulfil the promise she showed as a trailblazing world junior champion but she did so with a tally of 6,880 points, the highest score since the peerless Swede Carolina Kluft signed off her unbeaten heptathlon career with a European record haul of 7,032 points at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka.

As Lord Coe hung the silver medal around Ennis's neck, he gave her a consoling pat on the shoulders and no doubt whispered words of encouragement for 2012. The big British hope for home gold next summer knows she has a more than worthy rival now, as well as a winter's worth of motivational fuel to sustain her through the hard slog of training that lies ahead.

"I think it's always been a matter of time for Chernova," Ennis reflected. "She's had all the components but just never put it all together in a big championships. She did here and I need to go away and work a bit harder so I can take her next year.

"Hats off to her. I'm not going to beat myself up. Coming here and defending my title was always going to be a tough ask and I've got a silver medal. I've not shed any tears but I might do soon. Of course I'm disappointed, because I wanted the gold, but it was obviously the javelin that let me down.

"I was devastated straight after the javelin. I knew I had thrown it away. But if this was going to happen I'd rather it was here this year, before the Olympics, because next year's when I want the gold."

Ennis and her long-time coach Toni Minichiello have overcome worse setbacks. Indeed, she had been undefeated in heptathlons until yesterday since overcoming the triple stress fracture of the right foot that ruled her out of the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

When they have time to fully reflect on what was a great disappointment for themselves and for the Great Britain team, Ennis and her coach will not just rue the shaky start in the 100m hurdles and the high jump and the disaster of the javelin (which came after a career-best-equalling 6.51m effort in the long jump) but also the crucial training time lost in the spring to the foot injury that kept Ennis out of the European Indoor Championships in Paris.

Not that Minichiello was making excuses last night. "I've got to put my hand up," he said. "As a coach, I've not done my job. I've let Jess down to a certain extent. She was not well enough prepared and I've got to take responsibility for that because I'm the one who writes the training programme.

"I need to work a little harder and look at myself. Jess will do the same. She's not going to shirk and hide."

Pick of today's action

1am: Women's 20km walk:

The final of the women's 20km walk is the only event of the day, as the Championships reach their midway point. British hopes lie with Middlesbrough-born Jo Jackson, who became the first UK athlete to win a major walking title with gold at the last year's Commonwealth Games. Australia's Claire Tallent will be looking for revenge after silver in Delhi, while Russian defending champion, Olga Kaniskina, and her compatriot Vera Sokolova have been in excellent form again this season. The former is aiming to retain the title for a record third time.

World Championships results

IAAF World Championships, Daegu, South Korea:

Men 400m final: 1 K James (Gren) 44.60sec; 2 L Merritt (US) 44.63; 3 K Borlee (Bel) 44.90; 4 J Gonzales (Jam) 44.99; 5 J Borlee (Bel) 45.07; 6 R Bartholomew (Gren) 45.45; 7 T Henry (ISV) 45.55; 8 F Ogunode (Qatar) 45.55. 800m final: 1 D Lekuta Rudisha (Ken) 1min 43.91sec; 2 A Kaki (Sud) 1:44.41; 3 Y Borzakovskiy (Rus) 1:44.49; 4 M Lewandowski (Pol) 1:44.80; 5 N Symmonds (US) 1:45.12; 6 A Kszczot (Pol) 1:45.25; 7 A K Yego (Ken) 1:45.83; 8 M Aman (Eth) 1:45.93. Discus throw final: 1 R Harting (Ger) 68.97m; 2 G Kanter (Est) 66.95; 3 E Hadadi (Iran) 66.08; 4 M Israel (Est) 65.2; 5 B Harradine (Aus) 64.77; 6 V Alekna (Lith) 64.09; 7 V Gowda (India) 64.05; 8 J Y. Fernandez (Cuba) 63.54; 9 P Malachowski (Pol) 63.37; 10 J Young (US) 63.2; 11 M Pestano (Sp) 63; 12 B Morse (GB) 62.69. Selected GB heats: 1500m heat 1: 10 J Shane (GB) 3:41.17. 400m hurdles semi-final heat 1: 5 J Green (GB) 49.62. Heat 2: 1 D Greene (GB) 48.62sec Q. Heat 3: 6 N Woodward (GB) 49.57. High jump qualification group A: 11 T Parsons (GB) 2.25. Group B: 13 M Bernard (GB) 2.21.

Women 3,000m steeplechase final: 1 Y Zaripova (Rus) 9min 07.03sec; 2 H Ghribi (Tun) 9:11.97; 3 M C Cheywa (Ken) 9:17.16; 4 M Wanjiku Njoroge (Ken) 9:17.88; 5 L Chebet Rotich (Ken) 9:25.74; 6 S Assefa (Eth) 9:28.24; 7 B Uslu (Tur) 9:31.06; 8 H Ouhaddou (Morocco) 9:32.36; 9 G Felicitas Krause (Ger) 9:32.74; 10 B Fente (Eth) 9:36.81; 11 L Kharlamova (Rus) 9:44.14; 12 S Moreira (Portugal) 9:47.87; 13 E Coburn (US) 9:51.40; 14 B Parker (GB) 9:56.66; 15 B Adamu (Eth) 10:05.10. Pole vault final: 1 F Murer (Br) 4.85m; 2 M Strutz (Ger) 4.8; 3 S Feofanova (Rus) 4.75; 4 J Suhr (US) 4.7; 5 Y Silva (Cuba) 4.7; 6 E Isinbaeva (Rus) 4.65; 7 J Ptacnikova (Cz Rep) 4.65; 8 N Kiriakopoulou (Gr) 4.65; 9 S Spiegelburg (Ger) 4.65; 10 K Gadschiew (Ger) 4.55; 10 M Pyrek (Pol) 4.55; 10 A Rogowska (Pol) 4.55. Heptathlon overall positions: 1 T Chernova (Russia) 6,880pts; 2 J Ennis (GB) 6,751; 3 J Oeser (Germany) 6,572; 15 L Hazel (GB) 6;149. 800m heat 2: 6 L Hazel (GB) 02:15.44. Heat 3: 2 J Ennis (GB) 02:07.8. Long jump group A: 2 J Ennis (GB) 6.51; 10 L Hazel (GB) 6.25. Javelin throw group B: 3 L Hazel (GB) 41.75; 7 J Ennis (GB) 39.95. Selected GB Heats: 1500m semi-final heat 2: 6 H England (GB) 04:08.31 q. 5,000m heat 1: 8 H Clitheroe (GB) 15:37.73 (q). 400m hurdles semi-final heat 1: 6 E Child (GB) 55.89. Heat 3: 3 P Shakes-Drayton (GB) 55.07. Triple jump qualification: Group B: 2 Y Aldama (GB) 14.35 (q).

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm that there was a 'minor disturbance'

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary Teacher Cornwall

£21500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: ***KS1 & KS2 Teachers ...

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album