‘It’s been a victory to make it this far’: Katarina Johnson-Thompson ‘at peace’ with her slim chance of winning the heptathlon with Olympic glory set to elude her after an achilles tendon rupture cruelly robbed her of the chance for gold
If luck can flip quickly in sport, then the track and field athletes of Britain might wish to invest in a new coin.
It is the epitome of bad fortune that both of the nation’s world champions arrived in Tokyo unable to hit their potential.
With Dina Asher-Smith’s injury fresh in the mind, it has now been more than eight months since the sky fell in on Katarina Johnson-Thompson.
A fully-fit Katarina Johnson-Thompson would have gone toe-to-toe with Nafi Thiam (left)
The 28-year-old has done well to make it to the start line after rupturing an achilles tendon
By her admission, her victory will be simply lining up on the start line on Wednesday when the heptathlon begins, after a ruptured achilles tendon robbed her of a chance to duel for gold with Belgium’s Nafi Thiam.
Had the Olympics gone ahead last year she would have been a major contender, but there has been nothing in her limited activity across the last three meets that suggests she is anywhere close to her best.
She has been largely silent since Sportsmail broke the news of her injury in January, but she has put on a brave face since arriving in Tokyo. She has even declared herself at ‘peace’ with what has happened.
Johnson-Thompson’s last major competition saw her claim 2019 world championship gold
Johnson-Thompson’s misfortune follows the hamstring injury suffered by Dina Asher-Smith
‘It’s been super hard and it’s been a victory to make it this far,’ she said. ‘I’ve done really well to be able to compete after what I’ve been through. I’m at peace with that now — I’m a different athlete.’
‘I’m 100 per cent fit,’ she added. ‘That doesn’t mean I’m in my personal best shape. I’m fit and training and ready to compete.’
A small win in a hard year.