Katarina Johnson-Thompson: I have my hunger back

Katarina Johnson-Thompson insists she has rediscovered her hunger despite losing her world heptathlon title.

The 29-year-old finished eighth at the World Championships in Eugene as Nafi Thiam reclaimed the crown she lost to Johnson-Thompson in 2019.

The British star accumulated 6222 points after two days of competition in Oregon with Dutchman Anouk Vetter and USA’s Anna Hall in second and third place respectively.

After 18 months through injury and a late managerial change, she found it impossible to keep the title she won in Doha with a British record.

Johnson-Thompson failed to close the medals gap. (Martin Rickett/PA)

(PA wire)

It was also unrealistic to expect a podium challenge after suffering serious calf and Achilles injuries and she finished 533 points short of medal spots but admits she reignited the fire.

Johnson-Thompson said: “I love the sport. The last year has thrown me back, life is not fair and I have questioned that. After the championships I wanted to take a break from the sport, I don’t want to do that, how can it be fair that a torn Achilles tendon can just tear?

“This time I actually feel like I have my hunger back. I’ve been away from the championships but it’s like I want to put the work in and get back to where I was.

“As soon as I was done, I absorbed the moment, it’s a different mentality. That will motivate me through the winter.”

After day one left her sixth place, Johnson-Thompson said she was in Eugene to fight as she regained her top fitness and confidence, but a poor 6.28m long jump pushed her further into seventh place back after accumulating 937 points.

With a personal best of 39.18m in the javelin, the Commonwealth Games winner continued to lose ground and ran the 800m in two minutes and 19.16 seconds.

She will now focus on defending her title at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

“In two weeks there is still a heptathlon. The World Cup is next year, it’s only a year, I just have to train a lot and hopefully I’ll be up there again,” she added.

Defending champion Dina Asher-Smith shook off Sunday’s 100m disappointment to advance to the 200m semifinals.

The 26-year-old, who was looking to defend her title won in Doha, ran 22.56 seconds in under 24 hours after finishing fourth in the 100m final, despite matching her British record time of 10.83 seconds.

She said: “It’s part of the job (to go further from the 100m). It was easy. These are two completely different events.

“Obviously I would have loved to have been on the podium in the 100m, but I’ve put in some really good runs and I’m proud of that. This is a different event and you need to be ready with your A game.

Beth Dobbin ran 23.04 seconds and got no further. British skipper Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, along with Joe Ferguson, reached the men’s 200m semi-final in 20.11 seconds, but Adam Gemili missed it.

Previously, Jess Piasecki had finished tenth in the marathon, but Charlotte Purdue and Rose Harvey did not finish.

Piasecki said: “First of all, I’m happy about 12th place in the world rankings. Of course I was higher, but the wheels probably came off a bit in the last 7 km. But I did it really well and I really enjoyed it.”

Meanwhile, Holly Bradshaw is doubtful for the Commonwealth Games after suffering a serious hamstring injury in a freak accident in Eugene.

Her pole broke during her final practice jump, forcing her to retire ahead of Friday’s competition.

She wrote on Twitter: “I will do everything in my power to make it back in time for the Commonwealth Games, but with only two weeks away it’s not an easy task.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/katarina-johnsonthompson-holly-bradshaw-eugene-oregon-nafi-thiam-b2126175.html Katarina Johnson-Thompson: I have my hunger back

Fry Electronics Team

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