Jessica Ennis-Hill
Ennis-Hill says decision to leave athletics is 'toughest of her life' Getty Images

Jessica Ennis-Hill has announced her retirement from athletics. Ennis-Hill, 30, who won a gold medal for heptathlon at London 2012, hinted after winning silver at Rio 2016 that she could leave the sport, and confirmed her decision on social media on Thursday (13 October).

"Amazing memories.. from my first world title in Berlin 2009 to Rio 2016 I am so fortunate to have had such an amazing career with the sport I love and this has been one of the toughest decisions I've had to make," she wrote on Instagram.

"But I know that retiring now is right. I've always said I want to leave my sport on a high and have have no regrets and I can truly say that. I want to thank my family and incredible team who have spent so much of their time supporting me and enabling me to achieve my dreams. Also a huge thank you to all those people who have supported and followed my career over the years."

Ennis-Hill became the poster girl for London 2012 after her gold medal success in the heptathlon event on "Super Saturday". She returned to defend her title in Rio this summer but fell just short, finishing in second place behind Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium.

The Sheffield-born heptathlete leaves her sport having also won gold medals in two world championships, one world indoor championship and a European championship.

Ennis-Hill won her first medal in 2006 at the age of 20, claiming bronze at the Commonwealth Games but missed out on the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 due to injury. Her first world championship followed a year later, winning gold in Berlin in 2009, adding silver to her haul two years later at the same event in South Korea.

Having established herself on the world stage, the Sheffield native arrived at London 2012 and dominated the heptathlon event. In 2014, she took a year out following the birth of her son Reggie, but returned in 2015 to add another world championship gold to her haul after victory in Beijing.