On her return to multi-event competition, Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill achieved an encouraging 4th place finish at the Gotzis Hypo-Meeting at the weekend. Britain's poster girl from London 2012 recorded a final points' tally of 6520 for the heptathlon, ensuring that she comfortably exceeded the qualifying standard (6200 points) to compete at the Olympics in Rio next year. The event was won by Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton, the silver medallist from the World Championships in 2013.

Almost a podium finish

In a close tussle for the medals at the prestigious Austrian multi-event meeting, Ennis-Hill narrowly missed out on a place on the podium but could be rightly pleased with her performances over the two days of competition.

Although as expected she was some way down on her very best level of 6,955 points, the minimum target in Gotzis was achieved with flying colours.

Satisfying seven events

Despite not having competed in a heptathlon since London 2012, due to injury problems and taking time out to give birth to her son, Reggie, Ennis-Hill showed that her competitive spirit is still very much alive. Battling right to the very end of the competition, she front ran the final 800m discipline to lead from gun to tape, bringing back memories no doubt of her Olympic success. Her seven events showed great promise for the future:

  • 100m hurdles - 13.24 seconds

  • High jump - 1.86m

  • Shot put - 13.95m

  • 200m - 23.86 seconds

  • Long jump - 6.16m

  • Javelin - 42.60m

  • 800m - 2:09.21

With the qualification target for this year's World Championships in Beijing, China also safely achieved, she will now need to decide whether to compete there or not.

Given her ongoing Achilles tendon problems, she will need to consider carefully whether it is possible in the short-term to improve her sprint speed, something that seemed a little below her usual level in Austria.

Overall classification

The leading positions in Gotzis were:

  1. Brianne Theisen-Eaton (Canada) 6,808 points

  2. Carolin Schafer (Germany) 6,547

  3. Nadine Broersen (Netherlands) 6,531

  4. Jessica Ennis-Hill (GB) 6,520

The winner in Austria is the wife of America's decathlon world record holder, Ashton Eaton.

She was a cut above the rest of the competition across the seven events, recording three personal best performances on her way to a new national record and world leading mark. Her expected battle with Britain's other leading heptathlon exponent, Katarina Johnson-Thompson (in addition to Ennis-Hill should she decide to compete) at this summer's World Championships could be one of the highlights of the meeting.

Schippers pulled out

Holland's Dafne Schippers had been in prime position to take second place overall in Gotzis, but opted to withdraw from the competition before the final event, the 800, due to injury. Prior to that she had set new lifetime bests in the shot put and long jump.