Jessica Ennis-Hill 'truly honoured' by damehood

Jessica Ennis-Hill. Credit: PA

Jessica Ennis-Hill described herself as "truly honoured" to have been made a dame in the New Year Honours.

London 2012 heptathlon champion Ennis-Hill, who returned to compete at Rio 2016 after becoming a mother, is recognised for her services to athletics.

The 30-year-old from Sheffield added silver in Rio to her gold at London, and was already a CBE.

A post on her official Twitter account read: "What a team to have been apart of. Dame...truly truly honoured!"

There was also a damehood for rower Katherine Grainger, who like Ennis-Hill has retired since Rio 2016.

Grainger picks up her award for services to sport and charity, the veteran having returned from a two-year break to compete in Rio, where she won silver in the double sculls alongside Vicky Thornley.

She told Press Association Sport: "As an athlete you have such clear objectives and goals which are very obvious that you are trying to achieve and you can get ranked in terms of success or failure in a very objective way, that is what you are used to.

"Then there is something like this, which is something you can never really aim for or find your way to get, so it takes quite a while to get used to."

Grainger, who won gold four years earlier in London, added: "I feel hugely privileged that mine has been very much a team sport, all my great successes and bitter disappointments have been with an amazing group of people as well.

"It is lovely that this (honour) in a way reflects the efforts which everyone has put in, team-mates, colleagues, crew-mates and coaches.

"I think it is something which none of us (athletes) ever expects or sets out to try to achieve."

Olympians and Paralympians also featured heavily among those awarded CBEs.

Cyclist Laura Kenny, dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin, Paralympian swimmer Sascha Kindred and Sophie Christiansen, for services to para-equestrianism, have all been honoured with a CBE.

Among those to receive the OBE are Nicola Adams - who made a successful defence of the flyweight title in Rio and also won gold at the 2016 World Championships.

The two-time Olympic boxing champion has been widely tipped to turn professional after dominating the amateur flyweight category over the past four years.

Adams told Press Association Sport: "I'll be making an announcement in January. It's been hard, I've done a lot of thinking. I'm really excited about 2017."

It was a double celebration in the Richardson-Walsh household, with Kate picking up an OBE and wife and team-mate Helen receiving an MBE.