Jessica Ennis-Hill will not be available for the 2014 Commonwealth Games after it was announced that the athletics icon was pregnant with her first child.
Sky Sports News confirmed the announcement via Twitter:
Jessica Ennis-Hill pregnant with first child and will miss Commonwealth Games in Glasgow #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 10, 2014
Ennis-Hill plans to defend her Olympic heptathlon title in Rio in 2016 #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 10, 2014
The London 2012 Olympics gold medallist competed in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, but missed the 2010 edition of the event as it conflicted with her preparations for European Championships that year, as was reported by BBC Sport.
According to Sky Sports, the heptathlete's next major target will be to defend her Olympic gold at Rio 2016, with Ennis-Hill commenting:
I have some very unexpected but exciting news to share - Andy and I are expecting a baby. We are completely overwhelmed, with excitement and a degree of anxiety that I am sure all first time parents will relate to.
My plans for 2014 have been completely turned upside down, but having had a couple of weeks to think about things from a career point of view I am 100% set on returning to full time athletics once our baby is born and go for a second gold medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016 - that challenge really excites me.
But in the short term I will make our baby a priority and enjoy the whole experience as much as possible. I am sorry I wont be in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games, but know it will be an amazing occasion. I will be at home awaiting the arrival of a little Ennis-Hill.
The news will undoubtedly be well-received by a nation that embraced their athletics icon 18 months ago, Ennis-Hill standing as the poster child of Great Britain's roaring Olympic success.
The Glasgow Commonwealth Games starts in just over six months, for which the 27-year-old will of course now be unavailable.
The Guardian's Owen Gibson acknowledges that Glasgow competition organisers are now under more pressure to ensure the world's most attractive talents compete in Scotland, such as Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt:
Congrats to the Ennis-Hills. Great news for them - not so good for Glasgow 2014 organisers, now sweating even more nervously on Bolt.— Owen Gibson (@owen_g) January 10, 2014
The Mirror's Paul Cockerton announced in May of last year that Ennis-Hill had wed boyfriend Andy Hill.
It's a fine balancing act that must be played between the life of a professional athlete, shouldering the weight of an entire nation and dreams of millions, and a private personal life.
Will Ennis-Hill successfully defend her Heptathlon title in 2016?
For Ennis-Hill, following a roller-coaster period at the top of her trade, it presents a time of relative respite, perhaps, in comparison with her usual schedule.
As Sky Sports details, 2013 saw the Sheffield native struggle largely due to an ankle injury, missing the British Championships and having to drop out of Moscow's European Championships as a result of the same issue.
However, it's a little over two years until Ennis-Hill will be hoping to board a flight to South America with a view to once again lighting up the stage that she excelled upon when on home turf.
Whether motherhood lessens her competitive edge and physical capabilities, time will only tell.