Tokyo Olympics: Katarina Johnson-Thompson will “take time to process” Olympic withdrawal

‘It’s all over’ – Johnson-Thompson shows determination to finish 200m despite injury
Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson says she is “going to take some time to process” her withdrawal from the Olympic heptathlon due to a calf injury in a “heartbreaking” end to her Games.

“I’ve been knocked so many times and got back up,” Johnson-Thompson said.

“But it will take a lot of time for me to process this reality.”

Johnson-Thompson had slipped two places to fifth after finishing 15th in the shot put before the 200m.

In a Twitter post,external-link the Liverpudlian wrote: “I truly believed I was capable of winning a medal despite having up to half a year of missed training.”

After pulling up as she came off the bend in the 200m, Johnson-Thompson put her head in her hands and writhed in pain on the floor.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson is offered a wheelchair by doctors on the track
Johnson-Thompson refused to be taken from the track in a wheelchair after she pulled up

Refusing to be taken from the track in a wheelchair, she got up to hobble over the line but was then disqualified for leaving her lane.

“I started the year in a wheelchair and I was not willing to end my Olympic campaign the same way,” she said.

“To make it to the line was a miracle. To not only do that, but to be on my way to putting a decent score together, is heartbreaking.”

Johnson-Thompson is due to defend her world title in Oregon next year, while the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and European Championships in Munich also take place in 2022.

“Only a handful of people understand what I’ve been through,” she continued.

“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 ruptured the back end of December.

“More than ever, I am 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 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.”

Johnson-Thompson added that she had “sacrificed so much” by moving away from loved ones to train in France five years ago.

“I’ve lost heart knowing that the work my team and I have done for the last eight months was for this outcome and I hate that my story has played out in more heartbreak,” she said.

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