For some, the Olympic Games is really all about the athletics. The start of the track and field events are what make the Olympic Games so special. The pinnacle of human endeavour and the product of years of training go into what amounts to sometimes mere seconds.
British hopes rest on many shoulders, Mo Farrah for one, the poster girl of the Games is another. Jessica Ennis has been regularly posting on social network about her training and how excited she is to be taking part in London 2012.
The Heptathlon is perhaps the most brutal of all events for womens athletes and so it should be considered the ultimate showpiece for the games. On the opening day, the crowd at the newly opened Olympic Park willed Jessica Ennis and every other competitor onwards from the start of the 100 metre hurdles heats.
The opening two heats were taken by Karolina Tyminska of Poland and Natallia Dobrynska from the Ukraine with the Ukrainian woman running a phenomenal race in her heat. The third heat saw British interest for the first time as Birchfield Harriers athlete, Louise Hazell, a commonwealth Gold medallist in Delhi roused the crowd from their polite applause to give the first big cheer of the day. Although she was confidently out of the blocks, ultimately it may be the sense of occasion took over and dropped her down the field behind heat winner Hanna Melnychenko. That should not detract from Louise Hazell’s run though as she recorded her best time this year. Britain’s other hopeful Katrina Johnson-Thompson also finished the hurdles with a personal best 13.48.
All eyes though were on Jessica Ennis, the Sheffield born athlete looked calm, despite knowing that all of Britain’s eyes were watching her, hopeful, needing her to win. If there was any doubt, then in under 13 seconds all of that was removed. A world record time of 12.54 seconds has left her main rivals already behind in the points.
An excellent start after the first event and it leaves Jessica Ennis one step nearer her goal.
Top three after 1 event. The 100 metre hurdles.
1. J Ennis, Great Britain 1195 points
2. J Zelinka, Canada 1178 points
3. Hyleas Fountain 1170 points.
Ian D. Hall