Jessica Ennis-Hill is out to take another step towards the World Championships when she returns to the Olympic Stadium today after impressing on a night when Usain Bolt and Mo Farah stole the show.
Three years on from topping the podium at London 2012, the heptathlete is still weighing up whether to go to the global showpiece in Beijing in next month, having only returned to action in May following the birth of her son, Reggie, last summer.
Ennis-Hill always planned to use the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games as the acid test of her fitness and certainly did not disappoint in front of a partisan crowd on Friday, shattering her season’s best by clocking 12.79 seconds to finish fifth in a world-class 100 metres hurdles.
“I am absolutely made up with that,” the Sheffield athlete said.
“I am so pleased to have run that time and to do it here, in the stadium, in the right part of the year, so I am very happy.”
Ennis-Hill said it was “really special” to be back competing at the Olympic Stadium - something she will be doing again on Saturday in the long jump, where she goes up against fellow multi-event Katarina Johnson-Thompson, and the 200m.
That will give her a better understanding on her prospects for Beijing, which for Bolt and Farah look pretty rosy after impressive runs.
The former had the London crowd in the palm of his hand, blowing away any fears about his fitness by blasting to his two fastest 100m runs of the year on his return to the venue where he won three golds at London 2012.
The world’s fastest man, on his first outing for six weeks following a pelvic injury, clocked 9.87secs twice, to win his heat and then the final, and go from 62nd to sixth in the world rankings.
It was a performance to make world number one and two-time drug cheat Justin Gatlin sit up and take notice, but he was still unimpressed by his final run, saying: “The heats were perfect for me, but the finals were rubbish, so it is just one of those things.”
Bolt took time from his post-race interviews to then applaud Farah, who was cheered to the rafters on his first race in Great Britain since the doping allegations engulfing his coach Alberto Salazar surfaced.
The double Olympic champion strode to an imperious win in the 3,000m and then said: “It was amazing to get the support I got, it was incredible, it just reminded me of 2012.”
Today, Greg Rutherford competes in the long jump, David Rudisha goes in the 800m and Dina Asher-Smith will aim to threaten her own British record in the 100m.