Heptathlete says her time out through injury could be a blessing in disguise as she looks ahead to her competitive return

Katarina Johnson-Thompson is looking forward to returning with a vengeance after a foot injury spoiled her summer, writes Sacha Clayton.

The heptathlete was ready to go for gold at both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships after setting a 6682 point personal best when winning the prestigious Hypo Meeting in Gotzis in June. With that tally she sits behind only Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill and 2000 Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis on the UK all-time list.

But she never got the chance to turn that blistering form into medals as she suffered a stress reaction in her foot which forced her to sit on the sidelines for eight weeks.

With the two major championships now having come and gone, the 21-year-old says 2015 can’t come soon enough.

“Everything’s fine,” the heptathlete said of her injury. “It’s been okay since day two (of the injury), I haven’t felt anything so I don’t feel like an injured athlete, which is annoying.

“It was just the worst time possible – if it was the start of the year I could have recovered from it and just plodded on with my season, but it was over two major championships which is the annoying thing,” added Johnson-Thompson, speaking at the Sainsbury’s School Games in Manchester.

“I think it will help me next year to train harder and come back with a vengeance. I think everything was going too well in a sense and when I’m back on the track, it’ll help me to grasp every opportunity.

“This is the time all athletes should be resting but now I’m so focused, so it’s definitely going to be a blessing in disguise.”

Next year could prove just the tonic for Johnson-Thompson ahead of the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, with the Beijing World Championships taking place in August.

“I watched the Commonwealth Games and after that I decided I couldn’t watch the Europeans, so that was me done watching athletics this summer,” said the Liverpool athlete.

“It was very hard for me to watch an event you feel you’re at your peak at and feel you’re in really good shape. It’s very hard to sit on the couch and watch it, so I kept busy.

“My next big event is the Europeans in March. I will be pretty much doing everything the same in training throughout winter (to prepare).”

» The Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, took place in venues across Manchester from September 4-7, 2014. Visit www.2014schoolgames.com for more information