Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Katarina Johnson-Thompson takes pentathlon gold at World Indoors

Katarina Johnson-Thompson takes pentathlon gold at World Indoors

Sanya Richards-Ross and Sandie Richards are the only other Longhorns to win gold in the 400 meters at the IAAF World Championships.

Even on Thursday when she faced the press at a pre-event conference, she smiled little and rolled her eyes when asked about her previous inconsistencies in multi-events.

Johnson-Thompson said trackside: "It's been up and down, a long old day, five events in one day is something I haven't done for a while". The 2012 world junior champion has struggle to deliver the goods on the senior stage, whether in the heptathlon or her favoured pentathlon - 5th at the 2013 World Championships, 2nd at the 2014 World Indoor Championships, 29th at the 2015 World Championships, 6th at the Rio Olympics and 5th at the 2017 World Championships.

In real terms that gave the former world indoor long jump silver medallist a two-second lead to defend, finishing in style to cross the line victorious, bringing home the home nation's first gold medal of the Championships, adding to Laura Muir's opening-day 3000m bronze. "He has so much belief in me and that I can grasp my opportunities", she said. But you can only beat what is in front of you and she did so. Doubts over her mental strength lingered, so too her ability to compete for the world's top medals when she sometimes struggled in the throwing events. In London last August it was one her favoured events, the high jump, which proved to be her outdoing and exiled her from the heptathlon medals.

The personal-best effort in the shot put was part of consistent efforts in the first three events on Friday before she squeezed ahead into first place with a 6.50m effort in the long jump.

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She will need to be, and a better thrower as well, and this win ought to at least help in the first of those two areas.

The 25-year-old European indoor champion sped to a swift 7.46 season's best to claim the second semi-final race and to qualify for this evening's final as the only athlete to have dipped below the 7.50 barrier. They embraced after each ran personal bests.

But it was Johnson-Thompson who kept her head. Her confidence has been given a jab now that she knows she is able to again foot it with the best.

His performance highlighted a winning weekend for Team USA, which led all countries with six gold medals and 18 total medals.

"I was just going through the motions, but the semi-finals will be a lot more competitive, and so, I will see how that goes", he said.

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