London 2012: Day Seven - Ennis begins brilliantly, Clancy wins gold as Britain claim seven medals

Great Britain's Jessica Ennis. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.
Great Britain's Jessica Ennis. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.
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Jessica Ennis has laid down the gauntlet in the heptathlon while Ed Clancy won Yorkshire’s first gold of the Games. Follow the day seven action here.

Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis remains on course for Olympic heptathlon glory after turning a sensational start into a 184-point lead following the opening four events in front of a capacity crowd of 80,000.

Yorkshireman Ed Clancy celebrates winning the Gold medal in the Men's Team Pursuit final at the Velodrome in the Olympic Park, during day seven of the London 2012 Olympics. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

Yorkshireman Ed Clancy celebrates winning the Gold medal in the Men's Team Pursuit final at the Velodrome in the Olympic Park, during day seven of the London 2012 Olympics. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

Ennis ignited the athletics programme at London 2012 with the fastest 100m hurdles ever run in a heptathlon, clocking 12.54 seconds to smash her personal best and break the British record with a time which won individual gold in Beijing.

A clearance of 1.86m in the high jump gave Ennis a 25-point lead after two events, before a world heptathlon best of 17.31m in the shot from Austra Skujyte took the Lithuanian into a 64-point lead.

However, Ennis then set another personal best of 22.83secs in the 200m for a total of 4,158 points, her best ever first-day score and enough for a lead of 184 points over Skujyte.

“I’m so pleased to end the day with that,” Ennis said. “I knew it was a fast track from the hurdles and I’m made up to run a PB. I think coming into this I knew I was in good shape, but I couldn’t imagine performing like this, I’ve definitely exceeded my expectations today.”

Britain’s cyclists are flying along with a wall of noise after claiming three Olympic titles from four events at the London 2012 velodrome.

Yorkshireman Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke successfully defended Britain’s four-kilometre team pursuit title on a night when Victoria Pendleton won keirin gold and the women’s team pursuit squad qualified fastest for day three’s knockout rounds.

The wave of momentum appears unstoppable after Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France and Olympic time-trial gold as part of a haul of three medals on the road in the first week of London 2012.

The team pursuit was much anticipated, but the expected duel with Australia did not come to fruition as Thomas, Clancy, Kennaugh and Burke set the three fastest times in history, culminating in a world record of three minutes 51.659 seconds, with the silver medallists almost three seconds adrift.

Britain won seven of 10 events in 2008, with Thomas and Clancy combining with Wiggins and Paul Manning to win the team pursuit, and the hosts are on course to challenge that mark.

“Whenever a GB guy or girl gets on the track, they’re looking to win,” Thomas said.

“We’re all just flying now and it’s unbelievable.”

After delivering in front of an expectant, partisan crowd, Clancy added: “It just blows your mind. We talked about how good it would be to defend it, the Aussies, the Ashes on wheels and all that.

“Just to make it happen, to put your hands in the air, it felt like everyone here was cheering for us. It was just incredible.

“The whole way round it was just a wall of noise.”

In the rowing finals, Great Britain won three more medals, including one gold.

Katherine Grainger’s quest for Olympic glory is over after she won a sensational gold medal with Anna Watkins in the women’s double scull.

After three successive silver medals and 12 years as an Olympic bridesmaid, Grainger finally tasted glory as she and Watkins destroyed the field to beat Australia by a length.

Northern Ireland’s Alan Campbell followed up Grainger and Watkins’ success by winning a bronze in the single scull.

The men’s pair of Will Satch and George Nash also won bronze as Britain’s rowing medal haul swelled to six.

But there was disappointment for Matt Wells of Bradford, the Beijing bronze medallist, who in his final Olympics finished fifth in men’s quad sculls.

Elsewhere, Beverley’s Lizzie Simmonds finished a highly creditable fourth place in the final of the 200m backstroke at swimming’s aquatics centre.

Simmonds swam her heart out. The race was won by Missy Franklin of the USA in a new world record of 2 minutes 04.06 seconds, over a second faster than silver medallist Anastasia Zueva of Russia, and American Elisabeth Beisal who took bronze.

“It’s kind of bittersweet really, it was fantastic to back posting decent times and I didn’t have any other option other than to go out and race like I did,” said Simmonds.

“But coming fourth is probably the worst result in an Olympic final so it’s kind of tough but I’m also pleased at the same time.

“Most of the time during the race I didn’t know where I was and I was just trying to beat the person next to me, but maybe it may have been a little bit different if I was a lane or two over.

“Honestly though, I have no regrets form this evening and walking out and hearing the crowd was an absolutely fantastic experience.”

Sheffield’s Rachel Laybourne and the volleyball squad were beaten 3-0 by the Dominican Republic, while Barry Middleton of Doncaster and Alastair Wilson of Sheffield’s were part of the GB hockey team beat Pakistan 4-1.