Britain’s heptathlon superstar, Jessica Ennis-Hill, has left her sport ‘on a high’.
A poster girl for the London 2012 Olympic Games, Ennis-Hill powered to gold on what became known as Super Saturday, and later battled back from time out through injury and the birth of her first child to reach the top of the world once more.
The 30-year-old said: “I know that retiring now is right. I’ve always said I want to leave my sport on a high and have no regrets and I can truly say that”.
Tony Minichiello, who has coached Ennis-Hill throughout her career, hailed her as a true great of British sport.
“Many sports people hold on too long. Jess has managed to avoid walking out of the stadium after failing a qualifying round. She’s walking out of the stadium by stepping off the podium”, he said.
“She’s one of our sporting greats. It seems fitting this way. We’ve known for a long time this day was coming”.
More tributes flowed freely after Ennis-Hill announced her retirement. Britain’s long jump Gold medallist Greg Rutherford tweeted, “You’re an inspiration to everyone young and old @J_Ennis. It’s been a pleasure to be your team mate. Enjoy retirement xx”.
Another fellow Olympic great and retired cyclist, Sir Chris Hoy, said: “Many congratulations @J_Ennis on all you’ve achieved, welcome to the pipe and slippers club!”
Ennis-Hill’s retirement has dominated the sporting headlines since her announcement to leave, with the recurring tagline next to her name reading: ‘A golden girl who won the nation’s hearts’.
Many congratulations to Jessica from the TNT team on all her inspirational achievements and brilliant sporting spirit shown. Thank you for the gleaming manner in which you raised Britain’s athletics flag.