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Britain's Ennis, Rutherford bask in golden glory

posted 5 Aug 2012, 05:58 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 5 Aug 2012, 05:59 ]

Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford say the news of their win on British athletics' greatest Olympic day in more than a century has yet to sink in.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 5, 2012) (AGENCY POOL) - Euphoric British athletics gold medalists, Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford, have not come down from their Saturday (August 4) night high of winning in their respective heptathlon and long jump in a the electric atmosphere of the Olympic Stadium.

"I had like two hours of sleep. It's not sunk in at all, really," said Ennis grinning from ear to ear with her gold medal around her neck during a press conference at Team GB House on Sunday (August 5).

Rutherford was even more shell-shocked by his win and envious of Ennis' two hours of sleep.

"I'm jealous of that, because she's had two hours of sleep but I've had none. I'm knackered now. I did manage to get home and stare at the ceiling and trying to take in what had just happened, and I still haven't to be honest. I was fortunate enough to again come here last night to see my family, have a bit of a hug and celebrate with them a little bit, but I'm pretty tired now and wishing my body would shut down but it won't. I'm still running on the adrenaline of last night I think," he said.

Rutherford will receive his gold medal at victory ceremony in the stadium later on Sunday.

The 80,000 seat stadium erupted in loud cheers, screams and applause every time a Team GB athlete took their place and competed.

Ennis said the athletes were told to be prepared for the different atmosphere competing on home turf, but nothing could prepare her for the roars that rang around the stadium.

"It was so hard to imagine what it would be like, and coming into this say everyone was saying 'Oh it's the home advantage and it's going to give you a massive boost', but it was so hard to just imagine what it would feel like," she said.

Already a favourite to win gold, she said it really did spur her on to cross the finish line first in the final challenge of the 800 metres.

"As soon as my name was mentioned the crowd just went wild, and it was just such a great feeling. I said before, it sounds really cheesy, oh the crowd would help you, but it did so much especially in the running events, it just kind of push you along. So yeah, it was incredible," she said.

Before the long jump final Greg Rutherford did not have the weight of national expectation on his shoulders that Ennis did. But he said he was quietly confident he could still do it and beat Australia's Mitchell Watt, the form jumper of 2011.

"I don't think anybody expected me to win it at all. I think everybody expected Mitch to take this, and it was nice to do it. It was nice to prove that I can do it," said Rutherford.

After a disastrous Beijing Games and a string of injuries, Rutherford said he's only just got going in his quest for medals now.

"I aim to go to the World's next year and trying to do the same and the World's following that and then the Commonwealth's and the next Olympics. I want to keep going and keep winning as many major medals as I possibly can. I'm coming into sort of what you would consider the prime, and the next five years is what I'd consider the big time for me to win lots of medals," he said.

Ennis confirmed her immediate future will not include competing in the London individual 100 meters hurdles despite her stunning success in the Olympic heptathlon.

On Friday she ran the fastest heptathlon 100 hurdles of all time but has decided against competing on Monday and Tuesday, saying it was always only a backup plan.

"I never really had any great intention of doing it because heptathlon was my main focus. But then when I ran the time I did in the hurdles it kind of make me think if I should give it a go. But this is what I've worked so hard for, doing the heptathlon, and I just want to enjoy this moment, make the most of it. And to be honest the way I'm feeling, tired-wise, my body is aching, I don't think I could be at the level that I needed to for the heat," she said.

She said she hasn't even begun to think about the next Olympic Games in Rio 2016, but that she has "a few more years left".

For now, the 26-year-old wants to take is easy for while but she promised: "I think I definitely want to achieve a little bit more."

Super Saturday was a remarkable day for hosts Britain, who took three athletics golds, two in rowing and one in cycling on their best Olympic day since the 1908 London Games