KJT warns ri­val af­ter win­ning sil­ver gong

Sunderland Echo - - Racing -

Kata­rina John­son-Thompson warned Nafi Thiam she is ready to chal­lenge her for more ti­tles af­ter claim­ing hep­tathlon sil­ver at the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships.

The 25-year-old’s sec­ond place sparked a medal rush for Great Bri­tain in Ber­lin on Friday with Matt Hud­sonSmith tak­ing gold in the 400 me­tres and Meghan Beesley bronze in the 400m hur­dles.

Jake Wight­man also claimed bronze in the 1,500m.

John­son-Thompson was just 57 points be­hind hep­tathlon cham­pion Thiam, with the Bel­gian adding the crown to her world and Olympic ti­tles.

John­son-Thompson, who won the World In­door pen­tathlon ti­tle and the Com­mon­wealth Games hep­tathlon ear­lier this year, recorded a per­sonal best of 6,759 points and be­lieves she can close the gap on dom­i­nant Thiam.

She said: “I feel like I can do it.

“I be­lieve in my­self and this is go­ing to be good for me moving for­wards.

“Up un­til this point, these cham­pi­onships, I wasn’t as con­fi­dent as I am com­ing out of them.

“Ob­vi­ously I had tougher op­po­si­tion here.

“I was happy with my first two medals but this has a big sig­nif­i­cance fac­tor for me es­pe­cially given my buildup af­ter the Com­mon­wealth Games.”

A calf in­jury af­fected John­son-Thompson’s Euro­pean prepa­ra­tions, and she added: “It has taken a lot of work from a lot of dif­fer­ent peo­ple to get me on the start­ing line to­day.

“With my prepa­ra­tion and my build-up, this has been one of my best performances ever.”

Hold­ing an overnight lead of 87 points over world cham­pion Thiam, she ex­tended it to 113 af­ter record­ing the big­gest long jump of 6.68m.

Thiam wres­tled back con­trol in the javelin to move 192 points clear af­ter throw­ing 57.91m to John­son-Thompson’s 42.16m, which for the Bri­ton was a new per­sonal best.

It set up a tense fi­nal 800m with John­son-Thompson need­ing to fin­ish 13 sec­onds ahead of Thiam.

She clocked two min­utes and 9.84 sec­onds to win but was only 10 sec­onds in front of her ri­val.

After­wards, Hud­sonSmith dom­i­nated the 400m to win in 44.78 sec­onds and Beesley took 400m hur­dles bronze be­fore Wight­man’s third in the 1,500m.

Hud­son-Smith told the BBC: “It’s a good feel­ing. The time doesn’t mat­ter, that’s for the fu­ture.

“It was about win­ning and go­ing on in the fu­ture.

“Times will come, I went for it and tried some­thing new.”

Dina Asher-Smith’s tre­ble bid con­tin­ued as she reached the 200m fi­nal on Satur­day with min­i­mum fuss.

The 22-year-old, who won the 100m on Tues­day and is the de­fend­ing 200m cham­pion, clocked 22.33 sec­onds in the semi-fi­nals and is also aim­ing for the 4x100m ti­tle. Beth Dob­bin and Bianca Wil­liams also join her in the fi­nal.

Great Bri­tain team-mate Laura Muir breezed into Sun­day’s 1,500m fi­nal af­ter win­ning her heat in the morn­ing.

The Scot - the over­whelm­ing favourite for ti­tle - clocked four min­utes and 9.12 sec­onds to win her heat in the morn­ing.

Muir is search­ing for her first out­door in­ter­na­tional ti­tle and is al­ready the reign­ing 1,500m in­door cham­pion.

She said: “I have won world in­door medals but there is noth­ing like win­ning the ti­tle - or an out­door medal as well.

“I have come so close over the last few years so to win a medal would be great, and to win a ti­tle would be amaz­ing.

“I have been in medal con­tention be­fore and in the mix but not nec­es­sar­ily num­ber one.

“But noth­ing is guar­an­teed.”

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