Rio Olympics 2016: Jessica Ennis-Hill misses out on heptathlon gold

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Defending champion Ennis-Hill finishes second in heptathlon

Great Britain's Jessica Ennis-Hill narrowly failed to retain her Olympic heptathlon title as she won silver behind Nafissatou Thiam at Rio 2016.

Ennis-Hill, 30, won the 800m - the final discipline of the competition - but it was not enough to overtake Belgian Thiam who won by 35 points.

Canadian Brianne Theisen-Eaton won bronze, with Britain's Katarina Johnson-Thompson finishing sixth.

After the event, Ennis-Hill hinted she could now retire.

"It's going to be a tough decision, I'm going to go away and think about it," she said. "At this moment, I'm tired and emotional, it's a big decision."

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Johnson told BBC Sport that he thinks Ennis Hill's career "is done".

The American added: "Why would you come back? She won at the Olympics, so the World Championships in London in 2017 will pale in comparison."

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Tearful Ennis-Hill hints at retirement

Ennis-Hill said she was "proud" to be back on the podium.

It was the third medal Britain ended up winning inside the Olympic Stadium on Saturday after Mo Farah retained his 10,000m Olympic title and Greg Rutherford took bronze in the long jump.

"Mo was incredible and Greg was amazing as well," said Ennis-Hill. "We've all done really well."

After winning Olympic gold in London, Ennis-Hill had her first child, Reggie, in 2014 and won a second world title just 13 months later.

"I have had an amazing few years and achieved so much in this sport," she said. "I'm really proud."

The London 2012 champion, looking to become the first British female track and field athlete to win back-to-back Olympic titles, led after day one but slipped back into second following Saturday morning's long jump.

A stunning javelin performance by Thiam, 21, meant Ennis-Hill had to beat the Belgian by 9.47 seconds in the seventh and final event. She could only finish 7.47secs ahead in the decisive 800m.


"It's more than a dream to be Olympic champion," said Thiam. "I injured my elbow six weeks ago throwing the javelin in the Belgian championships.

"At first, the doctor was not very optimistic about it. They said I had to go through the pain but if I was throwing correctly it would be OK.

"I wasn't expecting to win. Maybe top eight, but not the gold."

Johnson-Thompson saw her medal hopes dashed by poor performances in the shot put and javelin, where she could only manage a best of 36.36m.

It was the second year in a row where the 23-year-old from Liverpool has failed to live up to expectations at a major event, following her collapse in the long jump at last year's World Championships.

"I'm disappointed with my performance," she said. "I feel like I was capable of it, but there's nothing I can do. I've got no excuses, I just didn't execute."

BBC Sport's chief sports writer Tom Fordyce said Thiam deserved her win, adding: "Five personal bests across seven events, a woman who is only just getting started and should go on to dominate the heptathlon for years to come."

Former British sprinter and Olympic gold medallist Darren Campbell said: "It's a lesson for Katarina Johnson-Thompson. This is the level of athlete she will need to beat to win at major championships."

Former javelin world record holder Steve Backley added: "If Katarina's going to win the Olympic champion in four years time, she has to sort out her javelin and shot put way before then.

"We thought she might be able to raise her game because of the importance but it's not happened."

Goldie Sayers tweet
British javelin thrower Goldie Sayer tweeted her congratulations to Ennis-Hill, Farah and Rutherford
Adam Gemili twitter
Team GB sprinter Adam Gemili tweeted a heartfelt message to Johnson-Thompson

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