Jessica Ennis-Hill will mull over whether to continue her illustrious heptathlon career after a second-placed finish at Rio 2016 on Saturday.
Ennis-Hill put up a valiant defence of the crown she won in London four years ago, but had to settle for a silver medal on this occasion as 21-year-old Belgian Nafissatou Thiam produced an inspired performance.
The 2012 champion was trumped by the slender margin of 35 points, despite beating Thiam by almost seven and a half seconds in the concluding 800 metres.
Having claimed World Championship gold and Olympic silver since returning to athletics following the birth of her son in 2014, Ennis-Hill, 30, must now decide if she will compete again.
Next year’s World Championships take place in England’s capital, which could prove a significant factor.
“I’ve got to make a decision whether this is my last heptathlon or not, but I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved over the past few years,” said Ennis-Hill.
“It’s a tough decision but we will see. It makes it a harder decision knowing the world championships are in London next year.”
Ennis-Hill was aware she had probably left herself with too much to do heading into the 800 metres.
“I knew I had to beat her [Thiam] by about 10 seconds, and when I found that out after coming off from the javelin, I just thought, ‘oh god, that’s so much’,” added the Briton.
“I just thought, I’m going to run hard like I always do in the 800m. But I knew she was going to run hard too and I knew she wouldn’t let it slip.”
Thiam admitted she had shocked herself by claiming victory, having been injured in the build-up to the Games.
“It’s crazy. I wasn’t expecting that – maybe top eight, but not the gold,” said the youngster.
“It was very hard coming back from being injured. I wasn’t sure if I would even make these Games. But with the physio we did a lot of work and it worked.
“I still cannot believe it. Olympic champion – it still sounds so big when I say it.”
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