Just 13 months after the birth of her son Reggie, Jessica Ennis pulled off a triumphant display of skill and mettle to win a gold medal at the World Athletics Championship. As the heptathlete crossed the finish line in the 800m to clinch the world title, wearing a number with her married name Ennis-Hill, she put her hands to her face and collapsed with sheer emotion. Such is her popularity that her rivals immediately gathered round Jessica with congratulations.
Among those watching at home was David Beckham who sent his good wishes to the golden girl, telling her on Instagram: "Your little man will be very proud of his mummy".
Announcing her pregnancy with husband Andy Hill in early 2014, the Olympic champion said it was "unexpected but very exciting", adding: "We couldn't be happier". She married childhood sweetheart Andy in a beautiful ceremony in Derbyshire in 2013 after a Christmas eve proposal.
Jessica only made the decision to leave her young family to go to the competition in Beijing at the last minute, reasoning that it was only worth the time away if she was in with a chance of a medal. The hepthalon consists of seven events over two days and she was leading the field at the end of the first.
In terms of achievement it was up there with her blistering performance at the London 2012 Olympics, and it meant as much given the dedication that went into regaining her pre-pregnancy form. Jessica said she hoped it would be an inspiration to other working mums.
“I think now that I am a mother I look at other mums like [fellow athlete] Jo Pavey and just mums that go back to work and work incredibly hard and I have so much admiration and appreciation for how hard it is,” she said. “So I hope that I am an inspiration for other mums that you can do it and go out and do both really well.”