Katarina Johnson-Thompson focused on Olympic year ahead
The world heptathlon champion says she is no longer obsessed by the magical 7000 point mark
By David Fraser
Last Updated: 05/10/19 9:32pm
World heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson says she will now take a month off before making the Olympic year ahead her main focus.
Johnson-Thompson set a new British record to win gold in Doha, beating Olympic and defending champion Nafissatou Thiam.
Her points total of 6,981 surpassed the 6,955 set by Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill at the London Olympics in 2012 and was the sixth-highest total in history.
She told Sky Sports reporter Geraint Hughes that her plan now is to take a rest before turning her focus to the Olympic Games in Tokyo next summer.
"It's definitely necessary to take time off, it's been such a long season. I've been competing since January and did an indoor season too," she said.
"It's October so I'll probably have about a month off and try and wind down and relax. Normally I have a little bit longer but because it's Olympic year we have to get straight back into it."
Tokyo will be her third Olympic Games having finished 13th at London 2012 and then sixth in Rio four years later where she was one of the favourites for the gold medal.
That disappointment had followed a disastrous World Championship in Beijing where she failed to register a mark in the long jump and ended the competition in 28th place, experiences she says that helped her achieve gold in Doha.
"They are all experiences that have helped me get to this point and help me make the changes necessary to perform at this level. It's my journey," she said.
The world champion also narrowly missed out on the magical 7000 point mark inside the Khalifa Stadium by just 19 points but she says it is no longer an obsession and will now just concentrate on winning medals.
"It's been my dream for a long time, 7000 points. I've been vocal about it when I was younger because I used to go on an app where you could type in all the performances and see what score would come out and I used to always just put in combinations of different score to try and get 7000," she said.
"I've thrown that out the window and I'm just trying to perform when I'm out there and it seems to be a formula that's working for me."
Johnson-Thompson will now return to Liverpool where she is looking forward to being re-united with her dogs and catching up with Liverpool's progress in the Premier League and Champions League having missed their win against Salzburg due to competition.
"I missed the match on the Wednesday so I was gutted because I was competing but yeah, they are doing really good"
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is among those who has sent his congratulations to Johnson-Thompson saying he knew that she was a fan of the club.
"Congratulations, brillliant!. I knew about her relationship to Liverpool before. I saw it this morning in the newspapers, it was really great. Well well done," Klopp said.
Sky Sports News reporter Geraint Hughes in Doha...
Well what a day! It began - and I mean began - just after midnight when Katarina Johnson-Thompson cruised twice around the track at The Khalifa Stadium to seal gold in the Heptathlon.
After speaking with her about an hour-and-a-half after the race, I met up again with KJT who, despite no sleep for her, looked pretty fresh. Not bad after two days of gruelling competition.
She was on good form as well, still laughing with a little bit of disbelief that she was the world champion, but you could tell her satisfaction was shining through that her training regime in Montpellier in the south of France had reaped its rewards.
What next for KJT? Well catching up with Liverpool for starters. She's a big fan of Jurgen Klopp's side but had to miss the Salzburg game - she had a pretty good excuse, she was competing at the time!
Hopefully for her now, a bit of sleep, R&R and then the Leicester game on Saturday afternoon. The perfect way to celebrate.
Back on the track, no medals on Friday, but good progress towards adding to the three GB & Northern Ireland already have.
Three British men have made it through to the 1500m final. Jake Wightman, Josh Kerr and Neil Gourley all qualified from their semi-finals.
As expected, but always with a caveat when it comes to getting a baton around safety, both GB & Northern Ireland's men's & women's 4x100m relay teams impressively made their way to Saturday night's Final.
If they can get the baton safely round another 400m of track tomorrow, they'll both medal. They're good enough to do so.