Heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson encouraged by a successful 2013 and reveals her hopes for next year’s Commonwealth Games
Katarina Johnson-Thompson insists while comparisons between herself and Jessica Ennis-Hill continue to be drawn she is yet to discover if her already promising progression will follow such a successful path.
The Liverpool heptathlete ended a fantastic season with a fifth-place finish in Moscow which followed on from European Under-23 Championship gold in July. A personal best of 6,449 points was also set in the process, only 20 points short of Ennis-Hill’s British Under-23 record.
By producing personal bests in no less than four of her seven events in Moscow, the 20-year-old proved she will certainly be another British name to watch out for at senior global level.
And with the Commonwealth Games next summer the next major target, Johnson-Thompson believes exceeding her expectations in Russia has given her the belief a podium finish in Glasgow is a real possibility.
“I think Jess [Ennis-Hill] is a different athlete than me – she was one of the athletes who added 1,000 points onto her junior score and I think certain athletes can progress quicker,” said Johnson-Thompson.
“Athletes like Jess can just add points on year on year and I don’t know what athlete I am at the moment but hopefully I can progress each year and do well in Rio 2016 but really 2020 is realistic for me.
“I haven’t really had time to digest [the World Championships] but I just know that I came higher than what I expected. I wanted to be in the top eight but then there’s also a bit of disappointment because I knew I was so close to a medal.
“I think that I stepped up a lot in Moscow, I came fifth and it was my aim to come in the top eight, so I think now I can start looking at medals at the Commonwealth Games especially.
“It’s still a year away but as soon as the major championships of this year finish you start to look on to the next.
“I say this most years but the throwing events are my weakest and that’s where I am losing points on all the other athletes so I want to improve on that and just get more consistent.”
Johnson-Thompson was named as a Home Nation ambassador on Wednesday by energy company SSE who are an official partner of Glasgow 2014 and of all four home nation teams.
And the young athlete is determined to lead by example for England and bring home a medal.
“It means a lot for me to be an ambassador for England and not just an athlete but an SSE ambassador as well – it shows they are getting behind me not just in my sport but for all sports,” she added.
“It’s strange for me as I am still relatively young myself but I still want to aim for a medal. I think if you believe in yourself you can get the medal.
“Not that many people had faith in me to get to the London Olympics but you just have to have that belief in yourself and I think what SSE are doing to a lot of young athletes will help bring them up and hopefully they will be in my position in the future.”
» As a proud partner of Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, SSE are encouraging the public to get behind their home nation, and in doing so winning rewards such as tickets, merchandise and money can’t buy experiences during next year’s event. Follow @YourSSE to keep up to date with the latest information.