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Katarina Johnson-Thompson takes pentathlon gold at World Indoors

first_imgReuse this content Share on Messenger Johnson-Thompson now hopes that an unprecedented treble of world indoor, Commonwealth and European heptathlon gold medals is on the cards in 2018. “I have a busy year and this gives me confidence I can compete at a certain level and come away with a medal and not screw it up,” she said, smiling.It would take a heart of stone not to be happy for her. There have been too many screw-ups in the past – most famously in the 2015 world championships when she fouled three times in the long jump when favourite, and then again in London last year when her chances for a medal ended when she cleared only 1.80m in the high jump – 18cm below her personal best.“After the last couple of years there was no pressure on me because I have not done too well,” Johnson-Thompson said. “I am just happy I can kickstart this year as a gold medallist. I will have to step up my game in the European Championships in the summer but I think I can do that.”The secret to success was her consistency – with solid results in the 60m hurdles (8.36sec) and high jump (1.91m), followed by an indoor personal best of 12.68m in the shot put, her weakest event.Another solid performance in the long jump, where she jumped 6.50m, put in her command and victory in the 800m (2:16.63) ensured the gold medal was hers. It meant Britain had their first gold medal at the world indoors since Richard Kilty shocked everybody by taking the 60m in Sopot in 2014. Since you’re here… Read more Laura Muir earns world indoor bronze after £1,500, seven-hour taxi ride Read more Topics … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. 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Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Johnson-Thompson admitted a move to Montpellier last year to be coached by the Frenchman Bertrand Valcin had made the crucial difference. “He has so much belief in me and that I can grasp my opportunities,” she said. “It’s very lonely out in France. I’ve left my family. There’s the language barrier but it’s worth it for this.”Meanwhile, Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast ran away from the field to 60m gold in 6.97 sec – the sixth fastest time in history. Her compatriot Marie-Josee Ta Lou took silver in 7.05, the same time as the Swiss athlete Mujinga Kambundji, who won bronze.Earlier in the evening there was a surprise in the men’s long jump as the 19-year-old Cuban Miguel Echevarria took gold with a leap of 8.46m. It made him the youngest male field event champion of all time. The outdoor world champion Luvo Manyonga took silver with a jump of 8.44m, while the 2016 indoor champ Marquis Dendy had to settle for bronze. Share on Pinterest Share on Twittercenter_img Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Athletics Katarina Johnson-Thompson Share via Email news Finally she delivered. For too long the expectation surrounding Katarina Johnson-Thompson has acted as a dragnet on her body and mind but, urged on by a boisterous home crowd, the 25-year-old powered away to claim her first world title and then promised it would be a springboard for an even brighter future.“It’s been a long time coming but I am finally a world champion,” she said, her voice hoarse after the exertions of a day spent sprinting, jumping and throwing, before sealing the pentathlon gold medal with victory in the 800m. “It means the world to me. This is something I have been trying to do since 2012 when I stepped into the international scene.”Admittedly it was a moderate field, with none of the heptathlon medallists from last year’s world championships in Birmingham. And Johnson-Thompson’s winning score of 4,750 was also 250 points below her best. But the popular 25-year-old could do no more than deal with what she was up against – and she won with something in hand over the Austrian Ivona Dodic, who took silver 50 points behind her. Support The Guardian Mo Farah says medals and not money is his incentive for switch to marathon Share on WhatsApplast_img read more