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

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

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

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments