Jessica Ennis Hill
Jessica Ennis-Hill has not competed in a heptathlon since winning gold in the 2012 Olympics Getty Images

Jessica Ennis-Hill has successfully qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games after finishing fourth overall in her first heptathlon in three years at the Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis, Austria.

The 29-year-old British athlete, who claimed gold in front of an adoring home crowd at London 2012, needed 6,200 points to book her place in Rio de Janeiro and easily surpassed that mark with 6,520.

Brianne Theisen-Eaton finished first with 6,808, Carolin Schafer came in second and Nadine Broersen took third.

Strong contender Dafne Schippers was sadly forced to withdraw before the final event, while Morgan Lake pulled up in the 800m but confirmed after the race that she is not suffering from any injuries.

2014 champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson decided not to compete following a knee problem.


Elsewhere in athletics, controversial sprinter Justin Gatlin continued his excellent form at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting by matching his career best in the 200m.

The American, who is the fastest man over 100m in 2015 after running a 9.74 in Doha earlier this month and who previously served a four-year suspension from the sport in 2006, clocked a time of 19.68 seconds in Eugene, Oregon.

"A lot of people think it (doping ban) was a gift and a curse," Gatlin was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"I think it gave me a little more shelf life to come back. But it also gave me a little more push to come back and prove I am a great runner."