Jessica Ennis-Hill
Jessica Ennis-Hill finished 35 points behind Nafissatou Thiam to claim a silver medal at Rio 2016 DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images

One of British athletics' most affable and successful figures announced her retirement on Thursday morning (13 October), with Sheffield heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill calling time on a glittering career that included that iconic 'Super Saturday' gold at London 2012 in addition to a plethora of other medals including two world championship titles, European success, Commonwealth Games bronze and finally a silver at Rio 2016.

Such brilliant achievements are made all the more impressive when you consider that she bounced back from an stress fracture to the right ankle that ruled her out of contention for the Beijing Olympics eight years ago. The 30-year-old has also struggled with achilles problems and her most recent success came after the birth of first child Reggie.

The sporting world has been understandably bustling with reaction to the news of Ennis-Hill's decision to hang up her spikes. British Athletics performance director Neil Black led the tributes, insisting that the retirement was deserved but that GB's younger athletes had lost an excellent role model.

"I know it will have been incredibly difficult for Jess, but I am pleased for her that she has been able to make the decision and can now look forward to a much deserved retirement," he said.

"The entire performance team of coaches, athletes and support staff will miss her at events. Not only has she competed at the highest level, but she has been a warm and positive presence within the GB team and a great example to the younger team members.

"Her record as an athlete is phenomenal and that's without considering the challenges of returning from pregnancy to win World gold and Olympic silver. I'd like to thank her not only for her contribution to the GB team over the years, but additionally for being a great person to work with, know and support."

Ennis-Hill's long-time coach Toni Minichiello said: "Many sports people hold on too long. Jess has managed to avoid walking out of the stadium after failing a qualifying round. She's walking out of the stadium by stepping off the podium. She's one of our sporting greats. It seems fitting this way.

"We've known for a long time this day was coming. She's humble, she grafts, she pushes herself hard and she never gives up. She's funny. Despite all the fame and money she's never forgotten where she's come from - most of her friends she's had from school days. There's a competitive streak too. And it's driven by not wanting to let anyone down, including herself."

A stream of past and present athletes from a range of different sports also took to social media to wax lyrical regarding Ennis-Hill's career, with fellow heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson hailing her domestic rival as a "real inspiration"...

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