Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Babe of the Month - Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Katarina Mary Johnson-Thompson was born on 9th January 1993 in Woolton, Liverpool and is an English track and field athlete specialising in the heptathlon.

At the age of nine, with an audition for the Royal Ballet School lined up, Katarina reversed Billy Elliot’s cinematic route and chose sport over dance.

Her father Ricardo is Bahamian, Katarina attended St Julie's Catholic High School in Woolton and John Moores University in Liverpool, where she studied for her sports science degree. Katarina represents Liverpool Harriers and is coached by Mike Holmes. She is also an ardent fan of Liverpool FC and admits she was "devastated" when Steven Gerrard left the club.

At the 2009 World Youth Championships in Athletics in Brixen, Italy, she won the gold medal in the heptathlon.

She missed most of the 2010 athletics season suffering from patellar tendinopathy, also known as jumper's knee.

Johnson-Thompson broke Jessica Ennis' British junior record at the Multistars competition held in Desenzano del Garda, Italy in May 2012.

At the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships, held in Barcelona, Johnson-Thompson chose not to compete in the heptathlon competition to save herself for the Olympics; instead she took part in the long jump and the 100 metres hurdles, winning a gold medal in the long jump, with a leap of 6.81 metres.

Johnson-Thompson competed for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the women's heptathlon, alongside compatriots Jessica Ennis and Louise Hazel at the Olympic Stadium. She finished in 15th place with a score of 6267 points.

In September 2012 Johnson-Thompson was nominated for the "European Athletics Rising Star award." In October, she won the "Lillian Board Memorial Award" (for junior women) at the 2012 British Athletics Writers' Association Awards.

In the 2013 IAAF World Championships held in Moscow, Katarina Johnson-Thompson finished in 5th place in the heptathlon. After a first day which left her in 5th place, with a personal best (PB) in the 200m, she had an excellent second day with PB's in the Long Jump, Javelin and the 800m, finishing just 28 points away from bronze medallist Dafne Schippers.

In March 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships held at the Ergo Arena in Sopot, Poland, Katarina won long jump silver with a PB jump of 6.81m.

On 11th July 2014, Johnson-Thompson set a new long jump personal best of 6.92m at the Glasgow Diamond League meeting, taking her to number 2 on the British all-time list for the event. Johnson-Thompson won gold at the 2014 edition of the prestigious heptathlon Hypo-Meeting in Götzis, with a world leading personal best score of 6682.

Katarina was expected to be the GB team’s outstanding performer in track and field at the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships last summer. But her hopes of competing were ruined by a stress-fracture in her foot.

Johnson-Thompson set a new British high jump record with a height of 1.97 metres at the British Indoor Championships in Sheffield on 14 February 2015, surpassing her previous record of 1.96 metres set on 8 February 2014. Prior to Johnson-Thompson, Debbie Marti's 1.95 metre jump had held the record since 1997.

On 21st February 2015, Johnson-Thompson set a new indoor British long jump record with a distance of 6.93m at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix.

In August 2015, Katarina finished in 28th place in the heptahlon at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing after three foul jumps in the long jump meant she failed to record a score in the event, effectively ending her hopes of winning a medal. Her final jump appeared to be good at first, but officials discovered on closer inspection that she had marginally overstepped the take-off mark, and ruled it illegal after a delay of nearly five minutes. She had been lying in second place to Jessica Ennis-Hill after the first day of events. Ennis-Hill went on to win gold.

You can follow KJT on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

No comments: