On this day in 2012: Jessica Ennis breaks British heptathlon record

Ennis broke the previous mark of 6,831 held by 2000 Olympic champion Denise Lewis.

By Press Association Published: 27 May 2020 - 5.00am

Jessica Ennis answered her critics as she warmed up for the London Olympics by setting a new British heptathlon record of 6,906 points in Gotzis, Austria on this day in 2012.

Ennis broke the previous mark of 6,831 held by 2000 Olympic champion Denise Lewis, and became only the eighth woman to score more than 6,900 points in the event.

And she did all this after arriving in Austria to find herself bizarrely branded “fat” by a senior figure at UK Athletics, having lost both her world titles in the space of seven months.

Athletics – 2012 Hypo-Meeting – Day Two – Mosle Stadium
Ennis set a personal best in the javelin (John Giles/PA)

But the 26-year-old, who had shown strong form by setting a series of indoor personal bests at the Grand Prix in Birmingham in the February beforehand, kept on building for London with another raft of PBs.

Her performance included personal bests in the 200 metres (22.88 seconds) and javelin (47.11 metres), while equalling her personal best in the long jump (6.51 metres).

“I really wanted 6,900 points,” Ennis said. “Typically I thought I would just miss out on it but to have actually got it is brilliant.

Sport Review of the Decade
Success in Gotzis was the forerunner of Ennis’ victory at the London Olympics (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“I wanted to do it for me, to prove to myself that I can do it, that I am capable of scoring a big score and that I am in good shape. That gives me the self-belief and the mental capacity going ahead, so that was really good for me.”

If the performance suggested Ennis was on the right track, that was emphatically proven a little over two months later when Ennis took Olympic gold in London, improving her performance yet again to win with a score of 6,955 points.