Following Dina Asher-Smith’s 200m gold, Katarina Johnson-Thompson ended her wait for outdoor global golden glory by storming to heptathlon supremacy at the World Athletics Championships.
Claiming her first international heptathlon victory in Doha, the 26-year-old Liverpudlian was beaming as the reality of her achievement started to sink in after a trying two-days – in which she recorded 4 personal bests.
Previously without an outdoor medal at this level, the 26-year-old won with a British record 6,981 points, beating 2017 champion, Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam, by 304 points and registering Great Britain’s third medal at the Championships.
Johnson-Thompson, who recently moved to living in France, led Thiam by 137 points going into the concluding 800m and stormed to victory in two minutes 07.26 seconds – her fourth personal best of the competition.
She said: “This is the result of so many attempts of trying to perform on a world stage.
“This has been my dream”.
In the first event on day one KJT took 0.21 seconds off her previous best to win the 100m hurdles in 13.09 seconds.
Her 1.95cm in the high jump was matched by Thiam, but she scored a personal best in the shot put – one of her weaker events – with distance of 13.86m. That was 71cm further than she had ever gone before.
After the 200m, she had a 96-point overnight lead over the Belgian, nine better than her advantage at last year’s European Championships where she eventually finished second.
On day-2 Johnson-Thompson extended her lead before, in the long jump, she leapt to 6.77m. Thiam could only leap a distance of 6.40m.
Johnson-Thompson effectively clinched gold as she recorded another PB by throwing the javelin to 43.93m before Thiam, who had been struggling with an elbow injury, only managed 48.04m – her best is 59.32m – and skipped her final throw.
That gave Johnson-Thompson the 137-point lead over the Belgian going into the 800m, having previously trailed her rival at this stage.
Keeping her cool throughout, the final event saw her win and accumulating a points total which surpassed the previous British best of 6,955 set by Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill at the London 2012 Olympics.
Overwhelmed with emotion, she said: “It’s been a long road, but I am happy that I’m coming into my best form in these two big years.
“I just want more.”