IT WAS the perfect end to an incredible two days of heptathlon action for Katarina Johnson-Thompson as she sealed the world title in a superb British record at the IAAF World Championships in Doha tonight.
“This has been my dream”
Four personal bests and her best-ever leap in a heptathlon long jump contributed to a phenomenal total of 6891 points which exceeded the score set by Jessica Ennis-Hill in the Olympic Games in 2012. It was an exceptional display by the European and Commonwealth gold-medallist who beat defending champion, Nafissatou Thiam (BEL) by over 300 points.
This followed on from day one where she led the field on 4138 points, Thiam by 96 points. Personal best in the 100m hurdles (13.09) and shot put (13.86m) had contributed to a score which was the fourth best ever by a heptathlete at the end of day one of competition.
On day two, she enjoyed an excellent long jump competition, leaping out to 6.77m on her second attempt to add 1095 points to her overall score. Continuing the theme from day one, she was breaking new ground for herself in a heptathlon, and a 216-point lead from Thiam was looking very healthy heading into the javelin.
The PBs kept flowing and after two plus 40 metres throws, she launched the javelin to a lifetime best of 43.93m on her final attempt, a one metre and one-centimetre improvement to her previous best. As Thiam faltered to 48.04m, someway down on her career best, KJT seized the advantage, heading into one of her strongest events, the 800m, on a score of 5976; 137 points ahead of the Olympic champion.
She confirmed the golden moment after recording another lifetime best of 2:07.26 over 800m, which earned her 1005 points, which culminated in an overall score which moved her to sixth on the global all-time list, as well as top of the British all-time rankings.
Johnson-Thompson spoke after her lap of honour: “These whole two days have been so fast and because it has been at night, it’s actually felt like a dream.
“Doing it under the lights and everything was unbelievable. I can’t believe this is the result. I have had so many attempts at this result so to perform on this stage makes me so happy.
“I couldn’t have done without them [previous championship experiences]; not going to lie, I’m sure it would have been sweet in 2015 but here we are. The low moments have helped me come back and make the move [to Montpellier] and try and look inward on myself.
“This has been my dream. 7000 points is one of my main career goals. On the score calculator, I’ve been working out all sorts of combinations throughout my entire life but the last couple of years I have chilled with the predictions and I have just tried to compete, perform and beat myself. I’ve found a formula that works but I just want more!”