On This Day in 2018 – Katarina Johnson-Thompson wins Commonwealth gold

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England’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson claimed Commonwealth Games heptathlon gold on this day in 2018.

Johnson-Thompson won her first major outdoor title despite battling a calf injury on the Gold Coast in Australia.

Going into the 800 metres, the final event of a gruelling two days, the 25-year-old reigning indoor world champion had a 14-second buffer between herself and her nearest challenger.

2018 Commonwealth Games – Day Nine
Katarina Johnson-Thompson celebrates with the flag after winning Commonwealth Games gold on this day in 2018 (Martin Rickett/PA)

Struggling with her right leg, she laboured to fourth place in her heat. But it was enough for gold and she collapsed on the track after crossing the line.

Johnson-Thompson said: “It was the emotion and the pain.

“Just after the 200 (at the end of day one) I could feel something and it worsened in the long jump.

“I just managed it and got through it. I thought it was under control until 300 into the 800 I felt it worsen.

2018 Commonwealth Games – Day Nine
Katarina Johnson-Thompson competes in the heptathlon long jump at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I thought about stopping and just carried on.”

The Liverpudlian, who was sixth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, finished 122 points ahead of Canada’s Nina Schultz as English teenager Niamh Emerson took bronze.

Johnson-Thompson’s winning score of 6,255 points was more than 400 down on her personal best.

But it put her in the distinguished company of 2000 Olympic champion Denise Lewis and three-time Olympic medallist Kelly Sotherton as being a Commonwealth champion.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Day Twelve
Injury ruined Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s Olympic medal hopes at Tokyo 2020 (Joe Giddens/PA)

She added: “It’s all coming together and the more I compete, the more I expose myself to things like this, the more I learn.”

Johnson-Thomson finished second at the European Championships later that year and was crowned world champion in 2019 with a British record of 6981 points.

But her Olympic hopes at Tokyo 2020 were dashed when a calf injury forced her to pull up in the 200m.

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