In front of a jam-packed stadium, British heptathlete Jessica Ennis opened the Olympic athletics meet in record fashion Friday, finishing the 100-meter hurdles in 12.54 seconds, the best time ever recorded in the opening race of the event.
Thousands of fans waved the Union Jack and gave Ennis a huge ovation when she was introduced for the last heat of the opening event.
She didn't disappoint, bettering the 12.62 run by Eunice Barber of France in 2005. Jackie Joyner-Kersee held the old Olympic record at 12.69.
Ennis scored 1,195 points for an early 17-point lead over Jessica Zelinka of Canada, who ran 12.65.
The top five athletes in the final heat, including Hyleas Fountain of the United States, ran personal bests on what has been touted as a fast track.