Katarina Johnson-Thompson is frustrated that she didn’t make it to fight for medals

Defending champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson revealed her frustration at not being able to compete for medals after day one of the heptathlon.

The 29-year-old is sixth and has little hope of defending her title at the World Championships in Eugene.

The 2019 winner sits 273 points behind leader and Olympic champion Nafi Thiam and 193 points adrift of podium finishes.

Injuries and a late coaching change have left Johnson-Thompson with 3798 points in a comeback and disappointment.

She said: “It’s not pretty, it’s not a place I want to be in a championship, especially as I know I can be so much better historically and I think I could have done better with a few improvements. I’m proud just to be here.

“I’ve gotten back into a really hard workout for the last six weeks but unfortunately I haven’t gotten out of where I wanted to be on the other side.

“I’m still here, I’m still fighting and that’s part of what I’m trying to do at this championship, to be here, to fight and to be competitive.”

But Johnson-Thompson insists she trusts her body, having recovered in December 2020 from a torn Achilles tendon and calf injury that forced her to withdraw after the 200m at last year’s Olympics.

She said: “Yeah, when you’re lining up in the corner and you’re on a tight lane in lane two and you push off on your right leg, you worry that the images from Tokyo will repeat, but it’s a mental process, den I have to get through It is difficult.”

Johnson-Thompson was seventh after the first morning with 2,781 points after the first three events.

She has completed only one full heptathlon since winning the World Championships in Doha three years ago, the Hypo-Meeting of Gotzis in May, following injury.

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

(AP)

There was little expectation that the Commonwealth Games winner would have been able 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 her 100m hurdles run.

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.

In the evening she finished second in her run with a 23.62 second dash in the 200m but lost ground in the top three.

Brit Zeller reached his first major championship final. (Martin Rickett/PA)

(PA wire)

Elsewhere, Josh Zeller finished fifth in the 110m hurdles final, won by USA’s Grant Holloway. Andrew Pozzi and Dave King failed to qualify for the semifinals.

Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman reached the 1500m final but there was no place for Neil Gourley, who recovered from a positive Covid test last week.

In the morning session, Matt Hudson-Smith drove through his 400m 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-british-athletics-josh-kerr-doha-b2125340.html Katarina Johnson-Thompson is frustrated that she didn’t make it to fight for medals

Fry Electronics Team

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