Katarina Johnson-Thompson wins Commonwealth Games heptathlon gold

England’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson claimed heptathlon gold at the Commonwealth Games – her first major outdoor title.

The 25-year-old led after the first day and then went 31cm clear of the rest of the field in the long jump.

She threw over 40m in the javelin and safely negotiated the 800m to win gold ahead of Canada’s Nina Schultz.

England’s 18-year-old Niamh Emerson won the 800m to climb from fourth place and take the bronze medal.

Immediately after Johnson-Thompson completed victory, South Africa’s Caster Semenya dominated the women’s 800m to add another gold to the 1500m she won on 10 April.

In clocking one minute 56.68 seconds, Semenya set a Games record, just as she did in winning the 1500m.

Johnson-Thompson, the reigning world indoor champion, had never before won a global senior outdoor medal.

The Liverpudlian was sixth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where her performance of 1.98m in the high jump would have been enough to win gold in the individual event.

She has been widely tipped to follow in the footsteps of Olympic champions Denise Lewis and Jessica Ennis-Hill since winning gold at the World Youth Championships in 2009.  However, she has been hampered by weaknesses in the throwing disciplines.

In winning the Commonwealth crown, however, she has at least claimed a title that eluded Ennis-Hill.

Sitting on the track after crossing the finish line, her tears suggested she had aggravated an injury in completing the 800m and she later confirmed a calf problem.

“Everything’s OK,” Johnson-Thompson said. “I was nursing an injury going into day two. I’m just happy I made it over the line; there was no way I was stopping.

“I’m so happy. It’s been a long emotional two days but I’m glad it’s finally over.”

TNT Sport

Photo Credit: NEWS Sport

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