Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Born in Woolton, Liverpool on January 9, 1993, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, or ‘KJT’ for short, is an English heptathlete best known for winning the gold medal at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Dohar, Qatar. On that occasion, she recorded the highest mark in the high jump, 200 metres, long jump and 800 metres to set a new British record of 6,981 points.

Following a ruptured Achilles tendon towards the end of 2020, Johnson-Thompson barely competed before the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where the women’s heptathlon commenced on August 4, 2021. In the final event on the first day, the 200 metres, she suffered a fresh calf injury, which caused her to pull up and fall to the track writhing in pain. She eventually picked herself up and hobbled to the finish, but was subsequently disqualified for leaving her lane and withdrew from the competition.

Johnson-Thompson had competed in the heptahlon at two previous Summer Olympics, finishing thirteenth, behind compatriot Jessica Ennis-Hill, in London in 2012 with 6,267 points and sixth in Rio de Janeiro with 6,235 points. On the latter occasion, she jumped 1.98 metres in the high jump – one centimetre higher than any if the medallists in the individual high jump competion – setting a new British record in the process.

Johnson-Thompson had also competed in the heptathlon at three World Athletics Championships prior to 2019, although her results were a little disappointing. In Moscow in 2013 she finished fifth, just 28 points behind bronze medallist Dafne Schippers, but in Beijing in 2015 she finished twenty-eighth, and last, after three fouls in the long jump and in London in 2017 only fifth, after clearing just 1.80 metres in the high jump.

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