Katarina Johnson-Thompson has revealed her heartbreak after her Olympic dream ended in Tokyo.
The 28-year-old pulled up in the 200m of the heptathlon on Wednesday and was forced to quit with a calf injury.
Johnson-Thompson had battled back from a ruptured Achilles she suffered in December and was sitting fifth overall after three events.
She snubbed a wheelchair and treatment on the track to limp to the finish before having to withdraw on Wednesday night in Tokyo.
“I started the year in a wheelchair and I was not willing to end my Olympic campaign the same way,” she tweeted.
“I don’t know where to begin in trying to explain how I feel. Only a handful of people understand what I have been through.
“Even a smaller amount understand the mental and physical challenges I’ve faced trying to make it back in time through a pandemic after my Achilles rupture the back end of December.
“To make it to the line was a miracle, not only to do that but to be on my way to putting a decent score together is heartbreaking. I truly believed I was capable of winning a medal despite having up to half a year of missed training.”
It was the world champion’s first major competition back since surgery on her Achilles in December.
She was just 45 points off third spot following the 100m hurdles, high jump and shot put before injuring her right calf in the 200m.
She wrote: “More than ever I’m proud that I showed up, put myself out there and tried. It would have been very easy to shy away and pull out, to say I wasn’t ready and blame the injury, but I’m not that type of athlete or person.
“I am a fighter. I’m gritty AF and I find it extremely hard to give up. I can rest easy knowing I applied myself every single day and pushed until I couldn’t push anymore.
“I’ve sacrificed so much, moving my entire life to France five years ago, away from my family and friends.
“I’ve lost heart knowing that the work my team and I have done for this last eight months was for this outcome and I hate that my story has played out in more heartbreak.
“I’ve been knocked so many times and got back up, but it will take a lot of time for me to process this reality. I appreciate the kind messages.”