Jessica Ennis-Hill reaches end of the road in Rio with silver medal
An emotional Jess Ennis-Hill as good as admitted that her career had come to an end after she claimed silver in the heptathlon in Rio.
The 30-year-old had to settle for second place when she failed to beat the Belgian Nafissatou Thiam by the 10 seconds she needed to win gold in Saturday night's final event, the 800m in the Olympic Stadium.
Ennis-Hill broke down in tears when speaking to journalists in the mixed zone after the 800m.
"I'm pretty emotional but these are happy tears," she said.
"I'm just proud to be back on the podium. These two days have been pretty tough, but I'm really proud.
"It is a mix of everything: thinking back over the last few years and I'm just so emotional. I've got to make a decision as to whether this is my last heptathlon or not. But I'm so proud of what I've achieved over the last few years."
Did she think it was? "I mean, I've got to think, yeah."
Since giving birth to her son Reggie in 2014, Ennis-Hill has exceeded all expectations in her return, winning the World Championships in Beijing last year and now claiming silver in Rio all the while having the thought of retirement at the back of her mind.
"I've just tried to stay focused on here but, yeah, it does creep into my mind that this is possibly my last competition. I might not do that event again, this event again. It's a really strange part of my career. It's all new to me and there will be big changes," she added.
So the World Championships in London next year were not enough to keep her going for one more year?
"Yeah, it makes it harder with it being London next year," she admitted. "But, yeah, it's a tough decision. It's a tough event and I've done it for so long… so… we'll see."
An Indian summer in 100m hurdles - her strongest event and one that she has considered doing on its own in the past -does not beckon either.
"I love hurdles and I always said I'd love to give it a go - but I kind of think that boat has sailed now. The hurdles is so competitive, I couldn't just come back and train two or three days a week. I'd have to train incredibly hard to be at this level. I want to be the best at what I do," said Ennis-Hill who hailed new champion Thiam.
"She had had two days of amazing performances. But I gave it everything," the heroine of London 2012 said.
Ennis-Hill's fellow Briton Katarina Johnson-Thompson finished a disappointing sixth.