Jessica Ennis
The taste of glory: Jessica Ennis smiles after winning gold at the Olympic Stadium

Jessica Ennis won Olympic gold in the women's heptathlon on a remarkable night for British sport, which catapulted the host country to third place in the overall medal table.

Ennis, 26, won gold with a total of 6,955 points, 306 more than German silver medallist Lilli Schwarzkopf. Reigning champion Tatyana Chernova claimed bronze.

Having built up a substantial lead over the first six events, Ennis was virtually assured of victory going into the final event of the heptathlon, the 800m, at the Olympic Stadium.

Although she did not need to win the last event, Ennis went all out for victory anyway, and finished in perfect style by winning the race in a time of just over two minutes.

Afterwards, Ennis told the BBC: "I just had to give it everything at the end. I just wanted to make sure I gave them [the crowd] something and brought it all home.

"I told myself at the start that I'm only going to have one moment to do this in front of a crowd in London and I just wanted to give them a good show."

Former heptathlon champion Denise Lewis said: "It's hard to find the words. We have witnessed greatness, we have witnessed someone who had a dream to come and deliver on the world stage.

"People love her [Ennis], they really do, she is by far one of the most loved athletes around. I am honoured to have witnessed this."

Gold in the sand

As Ennis was being introduced to the crowd after claiming gold, compatriot Greg Rutherford emulated her feat by taking the long jump title.

While Ennis's every move over the past two years has attracted media scrutiny, little was known about Rutherford going into London 2012. However, the 25-year-old from Milton Keynes leapt from obscurity to global fame with a winning jump of 8.31m.

In the absence of reigning Olympic long jump champion Irving Saladino, who was eliminated in qualifying, Rutherford's distance was enough for a convincing victory.

Home straight

Britain's golden evening was rounded off by Mo Farah, who won the 10,000m with a clinical final push.

Farah emerged from the pack to win in a time of 26 minutes and 46 seconds, his final tap taking just 53.48 seconds.

Afterwards the Somalia-born athlete, who was raised in Hounslow, said: "I can't believe it, I've never experienced something like this.

"It doesn't come round often to have this on your doorstep and the amount of people supporting me, shouting out your name - it's never going to get better. This is the best moment of my life."