Katarina Johnson-Thompson admits she had to make bold decisions to secure her long-term future.
The reigning heptathlon champion has a different perspective after a difficult build-up to her title defense at the World Championships in Eugene.
Her 18-month injury nightmare is barely behind her and the 29-year-old arrives in Oregon amid difficult preparations, having parted ways with coach Petros Kyprianou in June just months after moving to Florida.
She left former coach Bertrand Valcin just last year after five years working with the Frenchman, who oversaw their 2019 world title.
Back in the UK, Johnson-Thompson is now under Aston Moore’s tutelage and insisted the upheaval was necessary.
“I don’t really want to go into the details, but I feel like it just didn’t work out there for me,” she said after recovering from a torn Achilles tendon to reach the Olympics last year. just to see her game dream shattered by a calf injury at 200m.
“Looking ahead to Paris (2024 Olympics) I wanted to make those decisions sooner rather than later so I made the decision to go back home and continue without Petros which is a shame.
“Ultimately I have to do what is right for me and I believe that is what it is.
“I’ve been involved with Aston in the past, he’s taken me to a lot of different events in Diamond Leagues in the past when my old coach couldn’t be there.
“In the end I had bigger problems to deal with than changing coaches like last year.”
Johnson-Thompson faces an uphill battle for her title after her third-lowest result in the heptathlon at the Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis in May.
She amassed just 6,174 points, more than 800 below her personal best, though it was her first full heptathlon since becoming world champion almost three years ago.
In Doha she scored 6,981 goals – breaking Jessica Ennis-Hill’s UK record – but two-time Olympic champion Nafi Thiam is looking to reclaim the title she won in 2017.
“Going into Doha I felt like I was in the best shape of my life, I consistently pulled everything together in training and in competition,” Johnson-Thompson said ahead of the heptathlon, which begins Sunday at Hayward Field.
“I had confidence in my ability to go in there and win, but at the same time I was in the mindset ‘whatever will be, will be’.
“Whatever came out I knew I was in good shape and going to get a good result, but I didn’t care what medal I got, I just wanted to make sure I got that good result out.
“At the moment it has shifted to the fact that I have a new coach. At the moment there are different priority points, I feel like it’s definitely a different mindset, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get a good score.
“I had a different mindset in 2021 just trying to come back from injury and I feel like I could have gotten a good result. As athletes, we adapt and we change with the circumstances.
“Success is something that is individual to each person and success for me would be to get a good result this summer, win two championships and be proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’m definitely in a different mindset.
“If you look back at my career every year and for every Olympic cycle, I’m a completely different athlete.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/katarina-johnsonthompson-doha-oregon-nafi-thiam-paris-b2122685.html Katarina Johnson-Thompson believes the time has come for change