Jessica Ennis-Hill on course for heptathlon gold at World Championships as Katarina Johnson-Thompson suffers heartbreak with three long-jump fouls

  • Jessica Ennis-Hill is closing in on gold at the World Championships
  • Ennis-Hill leads by 86 points ahead of the final event, the 800m
  • Katarina Johnson-Thompson recorded three fouls in the long jump
  • Johnson-Thompson is now ruled out of the heptathlon medals 

Jessica Ennis-Hill being crowned heptathlon world champion in Beijing on Sunday 13 months since giving birth and after an almighty battle back to fitness seems a mere formality.

In one of the great sporting comeback stories, the 29-year-old, who could not lift weights above her head when she returned to training late last year has put on a two-day master class.

Contrastingly, there was heartbreak for young pretender Katarina Johnson-Thompson as three fouls in the long jump ruled her out of the medals and put paid to hopes of a battle of the Britons to win the gold medal.

Jessica Ennis-Hill competes in the heptathlon long jump on day two at the World Championships in Beijing

Jessica Ennis-Hill competes in the heptathlon long jump on day two at the World Championships in Beijing

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (right) and Ennis-Hill look on following the conclusion of the long jump

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (right) and Ennis-Hill look on following the conclusion of the long jump

A season’s best long jump of 6.43m - her fourth in six events - and a solid 42.51m javelin mean Ennis-Hill is in pole position with 5706 points, 86 points ahead of Nadine Broersen of the Netherlands in second and Canada’s Brianne Thiesen-Eaton in third.

Unless disaster strikes in the 800m, where Ennis-Hill has a personal best of 2:07.81, almost four seconds ahead of Broersen, the title is hers. It would be a second World title to add to the one she won in Berlin in 2009 and she could yet be retrospectively awarded gold from Daegu 2011 when she was beaten by drugs cheat Tatyana Chernova.

Ennis-Hill had said Beijing was just a bonus at the end of her season where the main aim had been to record a qualifying mark for the Rio Olympics next year. But after leaving baby Reggie back in Sheffield with husband Andy she admitted she did not want to return home without a medal of some colour.

Jessica Ennis-Hill is all smiles as she secured gold at the World Championships in Beijing on Sunday

Ennis-Hill is all smiles as she closes in on gold at the World Championships in Beijing on Sunday

Ennis-Hill receives instructions from her coach Toni Minichiello during the javelin

Ennis-Hill receives instructions from her coach Toni Minichiello during the javelin

Ennis-Hill, the 2009 Heptathlon World Champion, flies through the air as she takes part in the long jump

Ennis-Hill flies through the air as she takes part in the heptathlon long jump

Ennis-Hill throws the javelin during Sunday's morning session at the Bird's Nest in Beijing

Ennis-Hill throws the javelin during Sunday's morning session at the Bird's Nest in Beijing

She is likely to face stiff competition there from Johnson-Thompson, who has been backed to bounce back from her disappointment here.

The 22-year-old endured a six minute wait as officials debated whether her third attempt in the long jump, which looked big enough to put her on course for gold, was a no-jump. On landing in the sand pit Johnson-Thompson clapped and pumped her fist, only for ecstasy to turn to agony seconds later as the big screen in the stadium showed her foot had strayed onto the plasticine.

After much deliberation and a conversation with coach Mike Holmes, the officials waved their red flag and Johnson-Thompson changed back into her leggings and top. There was a touching moment as Ennis-Hill rushed over to give her young teammate a comforting hug. British Athletics, the sport’s governing body initially appealed the foul jump decision on behalf of Johnson-Thompson but withdrew it afterwards.

Johnson-Thompson pictured during one of her attempts in the heptathlon long jump

Johnson-Thompson pictured during one of her attempts in the heptathlon long jump

Katarina Johnson-Thompson gestures as she checks the marks on the board with officials

Johnson-Thompson gestures as she checks the marks on the board with officials

Johnson-Thompson (right) looks dejected as she discusses her foul jump with the officials

Johnson-Thompson (right) looks dejected as she discusses her foul jump with the officials

Jessica Ennis-Hill gives team-mate Johnson-Thompson a hug after the trio of foul jumps on Sunday

Ennis-Hill gives team-mate Johnson-Thompson a hug after the foul jumps on Sunday