‘It’s been unbelievable and I can’t believe this is the result’: Katarina Johnson-Thompson breaks Jessica Ennis-Hill heptathlon record as Briton blitzes the rest of the field in Doha upset
- Katarina Johnson-Thompson won gold in the heptathlon in Doha on Thursday
- The British athlete crushed her opponents with an astonishing 6,981 points
- That tally is bigger than the British record held by Jessica Ennis-Hill of 6.955
- Johnson-Thompson saw off Olympic champion Nafi Thiam with ease for the win
Katarina Johnson-Thompson last night broke Jessica Ennis-Hill’s British heptathlon record on her way to claiming remarkable gold medal at the World Championships.
The 26-year-old scored an astonishing 6,981 points to crush the Olympic champion Nafi Thiam and go sixth on the all-time list.
She set four personal bests in seven events to leave herself on the brink of tears after adding a world outdoor gold to her Commonwealth, world indoor and European indoor titles.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson blitzed the rest of the field to win gold in the heptathlon in Doha
The 26-year-old amassed a total of 6.981 points to claim victory in the World Championships
‘I don’t know what to say,’ she said. ‘It doesn’t feel real. It is amazing.
‘I have had good scores before but never all those personal bests in one heptathlon. It has all come together at the right time. It is amazing.’
The 26-year-old’s margin of victory over the defending champion Thiam was a massive 304 points – completing a monumental upset.
It came only 24 hours after Dina Asher-Smith’s gold medal in the 200m and takes the British team’s tally to three for the Championships.
After passing Ennis-Hill’s record of 6,955 points, Johnson-Thompson, who had never previously finished higher than fifth in a global outdoor final, added: ‘I’ve been waiting for this. It doesn’t make sense to me, this whole two days because it’s been night time have felt like a dream. It’s been unbelievable and I can’t believe this is the result.
‘I’ve had so many attempts at trying to perform on this stage, I’m just so, so happy.’
That tally broke the British record held by heptathlon star Jessica Ennis-Hill (L) of 6,955 points
Referencing her capitulations at the 2015 worlds and sixth-placed finish at the Rio Olympics, she said: ‘I could have done without them, but here we are. The low moments have obviously helped me come back and with making the move, I’m just so happy.
‘This has been my dream. I’ve just tried to compete, to perform, to beat myself and I think I’ve found a formula that works. I just want more.’
Ennis-Hill told the BBC: ‘To come back and deliver in this way with all these personal bests is incredible. You have to get to the lowest point, the breaking point.
‘She got to that and she made big changes and decisions and they are the reason she has gone on to improve and become the world champion now.’
Johnson-Thompson saw off Olympic champion Nafi Thiam to claim victory in Doha
Johnson-Thompson had taken a 96-point lead into yesterday’s session on the back of superb personal bests in the 100m hurdles and the shot put. With Thiam of Belgium having struggled with calf and elbow issues this year, there was none of the expected response on day two.
Johnson-Thompson pulled ahead with a 6.77m leap in the long jump and then delivered a personal best of 43.93m in the javelin, which put her on the brink of gold. By the 800m it was effectively a formality and another personal best of 2:07.27 sealed it.
Ennis-Hill’s former coach Toni Minichiello said: ‘It’s down to persistence and perseverance. She is the world champion with a phenomenal score. She has not put a foot wrong.
‘People have been hanging medals around her neck far too soon and all she needed to do was find her way through the events.’