Katarina Johnson-Thompson believes she has rediscovered her mojo after an impressive second‑placed finish at the prestigious Hypomeeting in Götzis – and insists she is ready to “truly attack” again following her return to form.
The 30-year-old has looked a shadow of her best since sustaining a career-threatening achilles rupture in 2020. But her performance here earned her 6,556 points – her best tally since winning the world title in 2019 – and has finally convinced her that she is on the road back.
“I don’t think the score truly reflects where I am at but everything is going in the right direction and I can see a path back,” she said. “Last year I was just asleep competitively. But now I feel super-motivated again because I know I can do better.”
What was particularly heartening for Johnson-Thompson was that her score came despite hurting her foot and ankle after crashing into a barrier in her first event, the 100m hurdles, and also misjudging the pace in the 800m at the end of day two.
She also believes she has crossed a major psychological barrier by clearing 1.89m in the high jump on day one – her best since 2019. “It was the most important part of the weekend for me,” she said, “as I’ve always had the question in the back of my head that, if my high jump is not the same, will I be able to contend? But to hit those heights, and have a good attempt at 1.92m, makes me feel like I am really back now.”
Johnson-Thompson started day two in third place with 3,930 points, but a solid long jump of 6.32m added 949 points and pushed her into second, while a 44.14m javelin throw – the second best of her career – ticked another 747 to her total while she confirmed her second-place finish with a 2min 12.40sec time for 800m.
“This is only my second competition of the year and a lot of events I was doing for the first time. I was only dipping my toe in to see where I was at. But now I feel like I have blown the cobwebs off and I can truly attack.”
However, Johnson-Thompson was also given a reminder of what it will take to return to the pinnacle as the 22‑year‑old American Anna Hall produced an astonishing performance to score 6,988 points to win by 332 points. That tally made her the fifth best heptathlete in history., behind only Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Carolina Klüft, Nafi Thiam and Larisa Nikitina. But it was nearly even better for the world bronze medallist, as she found the energy to run a 58sec first lap in the 800m before trailing off slightly to finish in 2:02.97sec. “I was trying to run 2:02 and I gave it my all but I started hurting 300m in,” she said.
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