Katarina Johnson-Thompson feels there is much more to come in her career

Carl Markham, PA
·2-min read

Heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson is targeting at least two more Olympic Games before retirement as she feels she has unfinished business.

The 28-year-old has already featured at London 2012 and Rio in 2016, finishing 14th and sixth respectively, and has her sights set on the delayed Tokyo event this summer as well as the Paris Games three years later.

“Another two at least, counting Tokyo. Definitely until Paris 2024, that’s for sure, that will be almost like a home Games,” the 2019 world champion told the 22 Voices podcast, a series from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson has won a world championship
Katarina Johnson-Thompson has won a world championship (Martin Rickett/PA)

“It’s super difficult to win an Olympic medal, I think that’s why the weight behind it is always there, and you have to be ready on that day, every four years.

“It’s important for me because I have achieved a lot of things I want to achieve, and I still don’t feel like I’ve reached my full potential.

“I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten everything I wanted out of the sport so I think that’s a huge driving force and my motivation.”

Johnson-Thompson almost quit athletics after disappointment at Rio, while the postponement of the 2020 Games for a year due to coronavirus also hit her hard, but she is now fully focused on going to Japan in July.

“When it got announced that the Olympics were going to be postponed, it was like my whole motivation and energy to get up and do what I normally do each day started to fade away week by week,” she added.

“It hit me the hardest because my dreams of Tokyo 2020 went in the bin. The third lockdown I’ve been very positive.

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“Facilities are more open to trying to facilitate elite athletes because Tokyo is happening, so we have to find a way now.”

The Liverpool-born star has been sidelined since late last year due to an Achilles injury but is now gearing up for the start of the outdoor season.

“My recovery is going really well. I’m gutted that it’s not the way I wanted to start a new year, but I’m remaining positive and I’m in a good place right now,” she added.

“I’m progressing really fast and I’m happy that all things are set in place for the outdoor season.”