Olympic ‘poster girl’ Ennis prepares for second Palace visit

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SHEFFIELD’S London 2012 ‘poster girl’ Jessica Ennis has been awarded a CBE in the New Year honours list.

The 26-year-old heptathlete became the country’s Olympic heroine when she clinched gold on August 4, helping Team GB to third in the medal table.

She won the gold medal with a British and Commonwealth record score of 6,955 points, beating the silver medallist by 306 points.

Her victory made her a household name and the honours and accolades have flowed since the summer.

As well as featuring on the cover of a special Olympic edition of The Beano as Ennis the Menace, she was surprised and honoured when Sheffield United decided to name one of its stands The Jessica Ennis Stand.

“I never expected when I started out in athletics in Sheffield all those years ago that I would have a football stand at Sheffield United named after me,” she said earlier this year.

Following the London games, Ennis was welcomed back to her home city by around 20,000 people.

She was also presented with the Freedom of the City as well as an updated plaque on the city’s Walk of Fame which acknowledged her gold medal.

Pre-Olympics she was given a boost when she received an MBE for services to athletics.

After being presented with the honour in November last year by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, the track star said: “It is a boost, not only for me, but also for athletics to help lift the sport’s profile.”

Earlier this month Ennis was named runner-up in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

A member of the City of Sheffield Athletic Club, she is the current British national record holder for the heptathlon, the indoor pentathlon, the high jump and the 100 metres hurdles.