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Jessica Ennis-Hill retires from athletics

Jessica Ennis-Hill has announced her retirement from athletics.

The 30-year-old won Olympic gold in the heptathlon at London 2012 and silver at Rio 2016, and is a two-time world champion.

Ennis-Hill released a statement on her Instagram account saying it was "one of the toughest decisions" she has faced but "retiring now is right".

She wrote: "Amazing memories...from my first world title in Berlin 2009 to Rio 2016 I'm so fortunate to have had such an amazing career within the sport I love and this has been one of the toughest decisions I've had to make.

"But I know that retiring now is right. I've always said I want to leave my sport on a high and have no regrets and I can truly say that.

"I want to thank my family and incredible team who have spent so much of their time supporting me and enabling me to achieve my dreams. Also a huge thank you to all those people who have supported and followed my career over the years x."

Ennis-Hill won heptathlon gold in 2012, to emulate Denise Lewis' win at the Sydney Olympics, after she claimed victory on Super Saturday, which also saw Mo Farah win the 10,000 metres and Greg Rutherford take the long jump crown inside the Olympic Stadium.

She won by 306 points ahead of Germany's Lilli Schwarzkopf with a total of 6,955 but was unable to defend her title this summer when she finished runner-up to Belgium's Nafissatou Thiam by just 35 points.

Sheffield-born Ennis-Hill had taken time out between the Games to have son Reggie, missing the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and did hint about retirement immediately after winning silver in Brazil.

"It's going to be a tough decision, I'm going to go away and think about it," she told the BBC at time time. "At this moment, I'm tired and emotional, it's a big decision."

she has been heralded as a "phenomenal" talent by British Athletics performance director Neil Black as she announced her retirement from the sport.

Ennis-Hill called time on her illustrious career on Thursday morning, saying she was leaving "on a high" at the "right time".

A gold and silver medal-winning Olympian and a two-time world champion, Ennis-Hill leaves a huge but expected hole in British Athletics' armoury.

"I know it will have been incredibly difficult for Jess, but I am pleased for her that she has been able to make the decision and can now look forward to a much deserved retirement," Black said.

"The entire performance team of coaches, athletes and support staff will miss her at events. Not only has she competed at the highest level, but she has been a warm and positive presence within the GB team and a great example to the younger team members.

"Her record as an athlete is phenomenal and that's without considering the challenges of returning from pregnancy to win world gold and Olympic silver.

"I'd like to thank her not only for her contribution to the GB team over the years, but additionally for being a great person to work with, know and support."

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