Athletics: Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah win gold on historic night for Team GB at London 2012

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Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah tonight struck gold for Britain in front of a capacity crowd of 80,000 at the Olympic Stadium on a sensational evening for the home nation.

Ennis started the party with a dominant victory in the heptathlon before Rutherford leapt to victory in the long jump, the 25-year-old's winning jump of 8.31 metres coming at precisely the same time as Ennis was being introduced to the fans before her final event, the 800m.

And Farah then rounded off an astonishing three triumphs in the space of 45 minutes with a blistering last lap in the 10,000m, completing it in 53 seconds to take gold ahead of American training partner Galen Rupp.

Ennis had a commanding lead going into the 800m but still stormed to victory to improve her national record to 6,955 points and win by an amazing 327 points from world champion Tatyana Chernova.

"I can't believe I've had the opportunity to come to my first Games in London and won an Olympic Gold medal. It's unbelievable," said the 26-year-old from Sheffield, who missed the Beijing Games after suffering a career-threatening foot injury.

"It's a massive relief because it's so hard getting through a heptathlon anyway, it just such a tough event.

"But to have come into this event with all that pressure, and everyone just saying, 'Oh, you're going to win gold, you're going to win gold' - and I know how hard it has been to win it - yeah, I just can't believe I've done it."

Rutherford, who headed the world rankings in 2012, took the lead in the second round with a jump of 8.21m and was never headed, the 25-year-old from Milton Keynes then jumping 8.31m in the fourth round to extend his lead.

Australia's Mitchell Watt (8.16m) took silver and American Will Claye (8.12m) bronze, while Rutherford's British team-mate Chris Tomlinson (8.07m) had to settle for sixth.

World 5,000m champion Farah had thought his race would not come down to the last lap as his rivals feared his sprinting speed, but in the end that was what happened and Farah hit the front at the bell to time his finish to perfection.

The Somalia-born 29-year-old collapsed to the track before being greeted by his seven-year-old stepdaughter Rihanna and wife Tania, who is expecting twins in September.

Tonight Rutherford was still finding it hard to believe he had achieved his life's ambition.

"I don't think I'll ever get bored of hearing that," he said, when reminded he is now an Olympic champion.

"That is the most amazing feeling in the world."

Giving a highly emotional interview, Rutherford said: "I have the most amazing parents you could possibly have, a beautiful girlfriend, just everything.

"I can't tell you how much everyone has worked so hard for me, as well as myself.

"It's been a long process.

"I thought I was going to jump further than that but I don't care - I'm Olympic champion."

Speaking on BBC1, he added: "What a night for British athletics. Three gold medals out of a possible three really.

"The crowd were absolutely incredible.

"I don't think it's sunk in properly. This is what I've dreamt of my entire life.

"I knew I was going to be a sportsman. When I picked athletics I knew I wanted to be an Olympic champion.

"And I get to do it in London... I might wake up in a minute."

Jamaica struck the first blow in the battle for sprint supremacy as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce successfully defended her Olympic 100m title.

Fraser-Pryce edged out America's world champion Carmelita Jeter to win in a time of 10.75s, with Jeter just 0.03s behind and Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown taking bronze in 10.81s.

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake will hope to continue Jamaica's dominance in the final of the men's event tomorrow.

Ennis said of her glorious night, after putting the seal on two days of a one-sided competition: "I'm so shocked, I can't believe it.

"I couldn't let myself believe it till I crossed the finish line in the 800 metres.

"I'm so happy.

"I want to thank everyone here and my family and everyone who's supported me. Everyone who's worked with me."

Ennis had to sit out the 2008 Olympics due to injury, a blow which was difficult to accept at the time.

A tearful Ennis told BBC1: "After Beijing, everyone said we were going for another four years to finish what we started.

"I just had to give it everything at the end.

"I just wanted to make sure I gave them such a show, brought it home and left everything on the track."

She was non-committal over whether she will also compete in the 100 metres hurdles - the event in which she set a new British record yesterday in the opening event of the heptathlon.

"I think I need to savour this moment and enjoy it," she said.

"It's been a really stressful year and there's been a lot of pressure.

"Everyone thought I was going to win gold from day one."

Farah told BBC1: "I've never experienced something like this, it doesn't come around that often and to have it on your doorstep with that amount of people supporting you and shouting your name...it's never gonna get any better than this. This is the best moment of my life.

"It's just something that I've worked so hard for.

"It's just the grinding and hard work and 120 miles a week, week in, week out and long distance events and what you put into it is what you get out."

He added: "I want to thank everyone who has supported me from my childhood until now. Without all those people that wouldn't have happened and I've just got to enjoy this moment I guess."

JESSICA ENNIS: HOW THE GOLD WAS WON

Friday, August 3:

100m hurdles: Wins in a sensational 12.54 seconds, a time which won gold in the individual event in Beijing and is the fastest ever recorded in a heptathlon. The massive personal best also gives Ennis the British record and 1,195 points to lead by 17 from Canada's Jessica Zelinka.

High jump: Clears 1.86m and is agonisingly close to getting over 1.89m. American Hyleas Fountain also clears 1.86m to lie 25 points behind in second. Ennis has 2249, Fountain 2224.

Shot: A solid 14.28m is not enough to maintain the lead, with Austra Skujyte throwing a heptathlon world best of 17.31m to move from 139 points behind Ennis to 64 in front (3126 to 3062).

200m: A second PB of the day of 22.83secs gives Ennis a lead of 184 points over Skujyte with a best ever first-day total of 4,158. Skujyte has 3974 with Canada's Jessica Zelinka third with 3903.

Saturday, August 4:

Long jump: Ennis hits the board perfectly to leap 6.40m in the second round and improves to 6.48m in the third to extend her lead over Skujyte to 258 points (5159 to 4901).

Javelin: Banishes the memories of the terrible javelin performance in Daegu which cost her the world title, throwing 46.61m, 45.99m and then a PB of 47.49m in the final round. Skuyjte managed 51.13m to close the gap by 70 points, but Ennis takes a massive 188-point lead into the final event.

800m: Ennis goes out hard and completes the opening lap in an amazing 61.89s. After being overtaken on the second lap she refuses to be beaten and storms down the home straight to win in 2:08.65. That gives her a new PB and British record of 6,955 points and a winning margin of 327 points over world champion Tatyana Chernova.

PA

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