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Johnson-Thompson completes a fine morning for Britain

GREAT START: Katerina Johnson-Thompson

GREAT BRITON Katarina Johnson-Thompson completed a fine morning for the British team on day two of the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham (Mar 2), placing second after three events in the pentathlon.

Johnson-Thompson, competing in the pentathlon for the first time since winning European indoor gold in 2015, moved into first place following the high jump while an indoor personal best in the shot put meant she dropped just one place to second thereafter.

Teammates Asha Philip and Bianca Williams both qualified for the 60m semi-finals as did Eilidh Doyle and Zoey Clark in the 400m while senior debutant Lee Thompson enjoyed a great run to progress in the men’s race.

Two-time Olympian Johnson-Thompson opened her campaign in Birmingham with an equal season’s best of 8.36 seconds in the 60m hurdles to place sixth overall with 1048 points

She moved to the high jump and, despite failing to clear 1.94m, her 1.91m was comfortably the best of the field and promoted her to the lead with 2167 points and a lead of 13 points.

The shot put was the third and final event of the morning and Johnson-Thompson produced an indoor personal best of 12.68m with her first attempt to keep her extremely well placed.

Johnson-Thompson is just 13 points shy of current leader Yorgelis Rodriguez of Cuba in second place while Austrian Ivona Dadic is one behind in third before a gap of 36 to fourth.

The Brit will complete the pentathlon during the evening session tonight with the long jump starting at 18:00, followed by the 800m.

Philip is currently enjoying her best ever start to an indoor season and cruised into the semi-finals of the women’s 60m in 7.18 seconds for second in the fifth of six heats.

She is the reigning European indoor champion and that effort on the opening session of day two in Birmingham is the seventh time she has ducked under 7.20 this season.

“It was really good but I find it funny that I keep on running 7.18 in all of my first rounds,” said Philip. “It felt so different to the trials. It felt like a championship and I thought, I just have to relax and remember what I have been doing.

“To me I’m really confident with that, I don’t want to over-exert myself, it is three rounds in one day, so hopefully I’ll be fine with that. The home crowd always make me feel good, so hopefully I will have a good semi and make it to the final.”

Philip will be joined in the semi-finals by teammate Williams, who came in as a replacement for Daryll Neita for the Championships less than a week ago.

Drawn in the first of the six heats, Williams faced a wait to see if her opening effort of 7.31 would be good enough, and it was ensuring Britain have double representation in the semi-finals.

“I was ready to be called but I wasn’t ready to be called. You don’t really expect people to drop out of a championship team,” said Williams.

“You get told you’re going to be a reserve and you’re like yeah, fine, whatever. But it doesn’t normally happen. I’m prepared mentally and physically I’m OK. It’s annoying I felt like I had the American girl but I’m here, I’m happy.”

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading Posted on: 02/03/2018 06:02 PM

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