Katarina Johnson-Thompson has lost pace in Oregon while Nafi Thiam leads

Katarina Johnson-Thompson finished seventh after opening morning in her heptathlon title defense at the World Championships.

The reigning champions of Doha 2019 had 2,781 points after the first three events at Hayward Stadium.

It left her Olympic gold medalist and leader Nafi Thiam by 346 points and the medal places by 198 ahead of Sunday night’s 200m.

Johnson-Thompson has completed just one full heptathlon since winning the World Championship in Doha three years ago, hypo-meeting Gotzis in May after injury.

Johnson-Thompson struggled on opening morning. David J Phillip/AP)


She withdrew from last year’s Olympics after suffering a calf injury in the 200 meters after recovering from a torn Achilles tendon in December 2020.

There is little expectation for the Commonwealth Games winner to defend her title in Eugene.

Johnson-Thompson opened with 13.54 seconds – well short of her personal best of 13.09 from Doha – and finished fifth in the 100m hurdles.

Thiam’s enormous personal best of 13.21 seconds in one of her weakest disciplines was ominous.

In the high jump, Johnson-Thompson competed at 1.74m, uncharacteristically low but overcame 1.77m, 1.80m and 1.83m on the first attempts.

But she couldn’t climb 1.86m – compared to Thiam’s 1.95m – and was visibly upset with her performance.

The shot put, one of her weakest disciplines, offered little chance of recovery and she threw a personal best of 12.92 m.

Elsewhere, Matt Hudson-Smith drove through his 400-meter dash and won in 45.49 seconds.

The European champion will be joined by Alex Haydock-Wilson in the semifinals after finishing third in the opening heat in 45.62 seconds.

Hudson-Smith said, “It was pretty easy, just executed and going for the win. The work is done. You do what you put into it.

“I can only control my lane, everyone else is really irrelevant.

“My coach told me I did the work, just go out there and show it. He asked me before I went to the track, ‘do you belong here’? It was pretty explicit, but I said, ‘I’ve waited three years for this, so I’m ready’.”

In the women’s 400m, Victoria Ohuruogu and Ama Pipi automatically qualified for the semifinals, with Nicole Yeargin also advancing with a season-best time of 51.17 seconds.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/katarina-johnsonthompson-nafi-thiam-oregon-british-eugene-b2125266.html Katarina Johnson-Thompson has lost pace in Oregon while Nafi Thiam leads

Fry Electronics Team

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