Olympics 2012: Jessica Ennis gets off to perfect start in heptathlon

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“I had to get a bit closer to the screen to doublecheck the time. Those sort of things are amazing for team morale,” Britain team captain Dai Greene said.

Ennis knew she had to perform strongly on the opening day of the heptathlon, considering her worst of the seven events are on Saturday.

After her great start few doubted she would stay top throughout the day, but Skujyte replied with 17.31 meters in the shot put, 3.03 meters beyond Ennis’s best and suddenly the British hopeful faced a challenge. Skujyte’s mark was 2 centimeters further than the old mark of Dobrynska.

Then the 200 turned everything around again, with Ennis getting 22.83 seconds, .05 within her previous best.

If Ennis confirmed the track was fast, so did the women in the 100 heats.

Carmelita Jeter finished her heat in 10.83 seconds and five more women went under the 11-second mark, including double 200 Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica and U.S. runner Tianna Madison.

Noor Hussain Al-Malki, one of the first women ever selected by Qatar for the Olympics, barely got out of the blocks at the London Games in the 100 preliminaries. Wearing a headcovering and full length sleeves, the 17-year-old sank to the gund after some 15 meters and clutched her right hamstring in pain before she was taken away in a wheelchair.

Doping scandals also did not miss their start on the opening day of the athletics program.

Three-time world champion hammer thrower from Belarus Ivan Tsikhan was kicked out of the London Olympics on Friday because an IOC retest found his doping samples from the 2004 Athens Games to be positive.

And in the 1,500, Morocco’s Amine Laalou was a non-starter in his heat, following media reports he had been involved in a doping case.

IAAF spokesman Nick Davies could not confirm the report and Morocco’s federation secretary general Hammed Rhaziane did not respond to calls to his cell phone.

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