Maybe it is time for En­nis-Hill to quit – all good things come to an end

I would love to see hep­tath­lete con­tinue to Lon­don next year but, look­ing at her now, I see a woman who is com­plete

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - RIO 2016 - Denise Lewis

Be­ing in the sta­dium and watch­ing Jes­sica En­nis-Hill on her lap of hon­our with the rest of the hep­tath­letes, it was hard to feel any­thing but great ad­mi­ra­tion for her. To win Olympic sil­ver af­ter all she has been through is a sub­lime achieve­ment.

The de­ci­sion to re­turn to the sport was a very brave one af­ter reach­ing the top of her pro­fes­sion and, typ­i­cally, she gave it ev­ery­thing she pos­si­bly could over the two days here in Rio.

The 100 me­tres hurdles opener was good, the high jump was the best she has done in years and when she needed to dig deep and find that ex­tra bit of en­ergy or mo­ti­va­tion, she was able to do it.

You could see she was dis­ap­pointed with the shot put on day one, but what she does so re­mark­ably well is she takes the dis­ap­point­ment on the chin. She is able to process very quickly, move on and think about what she needs to do next – and she did that through­out the com­pe­ti­tion.

She raised her game in the javelin, ran her heart out in the 800m and if you are go­ing to get beaten af­ter scor­ing 6,775 points, it is go­ing to take some­thing great.

Of course, she will think that she should have scored over 6,800. That is what she came here tar­get­ing and she knows she is both fit enough and good enough to achieve it. But she was smil­ing dur­ing that lap of hon­our be­cause she knows she gave it ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing.

The trou­ble was she came up against Nafis­satou Thiam who had the com­pe­ti­tion of her en­tire life.

If you had told me that the girl I saw win Euro­pean bronze in 2014 would go on to de­liver those kind of per­for­mances at the Rio Olympics, I would never have be­lieved you. To set five per­sonal bests in seven events is as good as you are ever go­ing to get; you sim­ply can­not hope to do any­thing more than that.

She also man­aged to do it all while car­ry­ing an arm in­jury that she sus­tained at the Bel­gian Cham­pi­onships in the run-up to the Olympics. That was meant to ham­per her throw­ing, but she still won the shot put and threw a per­sonal best in the javelin de­spite only tak­ing one at­tempt.

What does that say about her men­tal at­ti­tude? I have seen other women crum­ble and use that kind of thing as an ex­cuse, but she fought through it.

Out of nowhere, she is now top of the world rank­ings and as we move through to the next Olympics in Tokyo, she is the one to beat. The great thing for her is that she is only go­ing to im­prove phys­i­cally be­cause of her age.

You saw it with Jess when she got quicker and stronger be­fore Lon­don 2012. That will hap­pen with Thiam as well.

You have to won­der what Kata­rina John­son-Thomp­son makes of the new Olympic cham­pion. Kat had a cou­ple of days that she will no doubt want to for­get and she must be scratch­ing her head when she looks at Thiam.

Kat is only 23 so she should con­tinue to im­prove, but here is Thiam who is able to score 6,810 points aged 21. It has got to be tough to take. I am very fond of Kat, but there is no hid­ing from the fact that her throws are sim­ply not good enough. It is se­verely limiting her po­ten­tial be­cause at the mo­ment she is pretty much giv­ing away the best part of 300 points in the shot put and javelin.

She will never win a global com­pe­ti­tion with those two throw­ing events as they are and that needs re­dress­ing. The jour­ney has to start now, be­cause peo­ple who have watched her for the past four years say her tech­ni­cal model has not changed.

The best hep­tathlon coaches know they can­not do ev­ery­thing and they need to seek help. I am not say­ing that her coach Mike Holmes has not done that, but what­ever as­sis­tance the two of them are get­ting clearly is not enough. She should have been on the podium here. Her tal­ent is too much to waste.

Now that we have a new hep­tath­lete queen in Thiam, the per­son that she de­throned has a tough de­ci­sion to make.

Jess sug­gested in her in­ter­views af­ter­wards that this might be the end of her ca­reer, al­though it is not a de­ci­sion she will take lightly.

She is 30 years old now and I can­not ex­plain how much all the in­juries take their toll on your body. Hav­ing to get back up for train­ing dur­ing those long, hard win­ter months is so tough.

The World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don next sum­mer may pro­vide the carrot she needs to keep go­ing for one more year. Be­ing back in that Olympic Sta­dium would be fan­tas­tic.

But is there enough in­cen­tive to make her want to go through it all again for another 12 months? Are the sac­ri­fices too much at this stage?

Does she need it enough to carry on to Lon­don? Is there enough to be gained?

She will not be ask­ing those ques­tions im­me­di­ately. It will prob­a­bly hap­pen in Septem­ber when her coach Toni Minichiello calls to ask what is hap­pen­ing.

For the event and from the Bri­tish pub­lic’s per­spec­tive, she is such a joy to watch that I would love to see her con­tinue. But she has been a dou­ble world cham­pion, won the Olympics at her home Games, bro­ken the Bri­tish record and won a sil­ver medal in Rio so she has an in­cred­i­bly im­pres­sive ca­reer.

When I look at her I see a woman who is com­plete. Maybe it is time. All great things must come to an end.

‘Kat will never win a global com­pe­ti­tion with her throws as they are. Her tal­ent is be­ing wasted’

Mixed for­tunes: Jes­sica En­nis-Hill (above) se­cured sil­ver, but there was woe for Kata­rina John­sonThomp­son (below)

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