KJT in confident mood ahead of Doha showpiece

By Nick Mashiter, PA

Katarina Johnson-Thompson insists she is finally ready to make her mark at the World Championships.

The 26-year-old admits her belief is sky-high with the championships starting in Doha on Friday.

A collapse in the high jump in London two years ago wrecked her chances as she finished fifth and a three failures in the long jump in Beijing in 2015 saw her come a lowly 28th.

Between them, at the Rio Olympics, poor shot put and javelin throws caused her to finish sixth.

The heptathlon does not start until October 2 but after living and training in France since early 2017 Johnson-Thompson is ready.

“At the last Worlds I was only a summer into my move and I knew it was the right decision,” she said.

“I knew the training was going well but I wasn’t settled in the slightest.

“I didn’t have any belief in myself because I was still recovering from 2014, 2015, 2016 seasons, but it seems like a lifetime ago now.

“I know my coach, my training partners and myself so much better now.

“So I feel I am growing each year as a person. It is coming in to a world champs and Olympics now and I am happy with the place I am in going to these big and important competitions for my career. ”

Gold at last year’s Commonwealth Games came after victory in the pentathlon at the World Indoors to vindicate her move to France.

She followed up with silver at the European Championships in Berlin last year and Johnson-Thompson feels she has found her form.

“I feel more confident in my performance and progression and as long as I am making progress in each of my events, with my personal bests, that gives me more confidence to do anything,” she said.

“I can score those scores to put me in those positions to win those gold medals.

“It is not just the act of wanting to win a gold medal it is trying to progress my event and my mentality around big performances.”

Defending world and Olympic champion Nafi Thiam beat Johnson-Thompson to gold in Berlin by 57 points.

The Liverpudlian has looked the most likely to close the gap to the all-conquering Belgian but still doubts she is the one who is pushing Thiam hardest.

“I am not sure, she has always had that within her,” she said. “We have seen her jump 2.01m last year, we have seen her throw 59m with the javelin.

“It is all slowly coming together and that is the heptathlon. You work on certain events and sometimes certain events are up and down.

“I don’t think I have ever had one where everything comes together at once and that is what I am working towards.

“That is what she is working towards too and obviously she is very strong in a lot of events now.

“She is definitely pushing me but I am not sure about the other way around. You just have to concentrate on yourself in a heptathlon.”