Heptathlete to miss Glasgow 2014 through injury

The England team has lost one of its biggest gold medal contenders for Glasgow 2014 as Katarina Johnson-Thompson has been forced to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games through injury.

The 21-year-old would have been the heptathlete to beat at the Games, at which athletics action gets underway on Sunday.

But she has been advised to give the event a miss having suffered a stress reaction in her foot.

“I’m absolutely devastated that I’m not going to be able to compete at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,” said current world No.1 Johnson-Thompson who finished fifth in the seven-discipline event at the World Championships last summer and 15th at the London Olympics the year before that.

“I was so looking forward to competing in another home games and this time as one of the favourites.

“The Commonwealths was a key target for me this year and I was feeling so good in my preparation up until this week so this is a real blow.

“My season so far with a world indoor medal in the long jump, winning at Gotzis and becoming world number one in heptathlon had really given me the confidence going in to the Games that I could post a big score and hopefully come away with that gold medal – but sadly it’s just not meant to be.”

Johnson-Thompson set 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 the heptathlete advised how she would be risking doing herself long-term harm in trying to compete so soon, though has not ruled out still taking part in the long jump at the European Championships as planned.

“All the advice is telling me that I risk long term damage if I compete in a heptathlon in just over a week’s time and I have to take that advice for the sake of my career,” she said. “I really hope to be able to compete in the long jump at the European Championships next month but it doesn’t take away how gutted I am that I won’t be at the Commonwealths – particularly after all the amazing support I have already received and I know the crowds would have been fantastic after the reception I got in Glasgow at the Diamond League last week. Thanks again to everyone for their ongoing support.”

Johnson-Thompson’s withdrawal is the second change to the England team for multi events, as earlier this month teenager Morgan Lake decided to join the GB team in Eugene for the World Junior Championships rather than compete in Glasgow. Grace Clements, the 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, was added to the team to replace her.