Johnson-Thompson ‘in a good place’ after injury woes as she eyes medal


atarina Johnson-Thompson believes she can get back into the medal mix at the upcoming World Athletics Championships after ending her injury nightmare.

The defending heptathlon world champion ruptured her Achilles to put her participation at the Tokyo Olympics in doubt and then suffered a calf injury, forcing her out of the Games after just four events.

Johnson-Thompson said: “I don’t want to just go to compete, I want to be in the medal hunt. I’ve always had doubts over whether the championship me is going to come out but that’s natural as an athlete.

“I’ve been working so hard, this is the longest run I’ve had with no injury leading into a championships for as long as I can remember. I’m starting to get excited to compete. All these are signs I’m in a good place.”

In her sole heptathlon this year, Johnson-Thompson scored the third lowest points tally of her career — 6,174, which was more than 800 below her personal best. She has since parted company with Florida-based coach Petros Kyprianou, following a previous split with Bertrand Valcin. She has now teamed up with Aston Moore, who will guide her at the Worlds and the subsequent Commonwealth Games.

Of that switch, she said: “Looking ahead to Paris [the Olympics in 2024], I wanted to make those decisions sooner rather than later. So, I made the decision to come back home and move forward without Petros, which is a shame. But, ultimately, I have to do what’s right for me.

“It wasn’t a great score I put out in Gotzis. It was great I finished a heptathlon healthy. I’m happy I’m building something. I feel like I’m going into the Worlds in a better place than I was going into Gotzis.”

Johnson-Thompson said she had focused heavily on her speed work and the 800metres, while her shot put, traditionally her weakest event, had also improved. But she said getting back to her best in the jumping events — her strongest — has been hard since the Achilles injury.

“The Achilles rupture was on my left foot, my take-off leg,” she said. “I’m finding it difficult to get back to those long jumps which put a big together a big score for me.”

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