Katarina Johnson-Thompson still struggling for confidence despite heptathlon lead

·1 min read
Katarina Johnson-Thompson still struggling for confidence despite heptathlon lead

Katarina Johnson-Thompson is still struggling for confidence despite leading the Commonwealth Games heptathlon past the halfway stage.

Liverpool’s 2019 world champion enjoyed a consistent and crucially injury-free opening day of the defence of the title she won at Gold Coast 2018.

A lot has happened since then - that world title in Doha for one - but also a run of injuries and setbacks that have blighted her competing confidence.

“It’s hard to be confident when my results have happened over the last year,” said Johnson-Thompson, who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

“ I’m confident in myself that I’m enjoying it and happy and am going to get solid performances out.

“That’s all I can do. I’m more confident post day one than I was going into it.”

She started sluggishly with 13.83 for fifth in the sprint hurdles that have become a strength.

But Johnson-Thompson responded by outclassing the rest of the field in the high jump, clearing 1.84m when no other could manage more than 1.78m.

A 12.94m best throw in the shot put was followed by a strong 200m to end the day on 3765 points, enjoying a slender gap from Northern Ireland’s Kate O’Connor on 3656.

“​​It's decent, solid,” she said.

“I’ve got two season’s bests which I wasn’t really expecting so I’m happy and feeling good, feeling like I recovered well. We’ll see what happens.”

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