Katarina Johnson-Thompson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Katarina Johnson-Thompson
Johnson-Thompson in March 2018
Personal information
Born (1993-01-09) 9 January 1993 (age 31)
Liverpool, England
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight68 kg (150 lb)
Event(s)Heptathlon, Pentathlon
ClubLiverpool Harriers
Coached byAston Moore
Achievements and titles
Personal bests

Katarina Mary Johnson-Thompson (born 9 January 1993)[1] is an English athlete. A multi-eventer, she is primarily known as both a heptathlete and an indoor pentathlete. In heptathlon she is a double world champion and double Commonwealth Games champion. In indoor pentathlon, she is a world and double European champion.

Representing Great Britain, Johnson-Thompson won the heptathlon gold medal at the 2019 World Championships, breaking the British record with a score of 6,981 points which ranks her at No. 6 on the all-time lists.[2] Her heptathlon results include finishing 14th at the 2012 London Olympics, fifth at the 2013 World Championships, sixth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and fifth at the 2017 World Championships. She won the gold medal in the event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games before claiming silver at the 2018 European Championships. She retained her title at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. She also holds the British indoor pentathlon record of 5,000 points and won gold in that event at the 2018 World Indoor Championships, as well as the 2015 and 2019 European Indoor Championships.

Johnson-Thompson's career has often coincided with those of fellow British athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill and Belgium's Nafi Thiam, with whom she has competed since junior competition. She is the only athlete to have defeated Thiam in global competition since Thiam won Olympic gold in 2016.

Johnson-Thompson has also occasionally represented Great Britain in her two strongest individual disciplines: the high jump and long jump. She holds the British high jump outdoor record, and in the long jump, she was the 2012 World Junior champion and the 2014 World Indoor silver medalist.

Early life[edit]

Katarina Mary Johnson-Thompson was born in the Woolton suburb of Liverpool on 9 January 1993,[3] the daughter of English mother Tracey Johnson and Bahamian father Ricardo Thompson (died November 2017).[4] Her mother is a former dancer, while her father worked as a production assistant for the Bahamian television station ZNS-TV.[5][6] She spent the first year of her life in Nassau with her father after her parents separated, then returned to England to live with her mother in the town of Halewood near Liverpool,[7] where she attended St Mark's Catholic Primary School and became interested in athletics.[8] She later moved with her mother back to Woolton, where she attended St Julie's Catholic High School and became close friends with future actress Jodie Comer,[9] before going on to study sports science at Liverpool John Moores University.[10][11]


Youth career[edit]

Johnson-Thompson represent Liverpool Harriers, which is based in Liverpool's Wavertree district, and was formerly coached by Mike Holmes.[3] Her development was in part funded by the Wells Sports Foundation set up by Barrie Wells, which gave her access to the foundation's patron, Jessica Ennis (now Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill).

At the 2009 World Youth Championships in Athletics in Brixen, Italy, she won the gold medal in the heptathlon.[11] She missed most of the 2010 athletics season suffering from patellar tendinopathy, also known as jumper's knee.[12][13]

Johnson-Thompson broke Jessica Ennis' British junior record at the Multistars competition held in Desenzano del Garda, Italy in May 2012.[14] Her score of 6007 points was enough to take third position at the event behind Sofía Ifadídou of Greece and French athlete Blandine Maisonnier.[15] The score also meant she had surpassed the 'B' qualifying standard for the 2012 Olympics, however it fell short of the 6,150 points 'A' standard.[14] In June, Johnson-Thompson achieved the 'A' qualifying standard for the Games by scoring a new personal best of 6,248 points at the TNT – Fortuna Meeting held in Kladno, Czech Republic. At the meeting she set six new personal bests across the seven events to beat her previous best score by 241 points.[16]

At the 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics held in Barcelona, Johnson-Thompson chose not to compete in the full heptathlon competition to save herself for the Olympics; instead she took part in the long jump—winning a gold medal with a jump of 6.81 metres—and the 100 metres hurdles.[17]

London Olympics and first World Championships[edit]

Johnson-Thompson (C) at the 2012 London Olympic Victory Parade.

Johnson-Thompson competed for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the women's heptathlon alongside compatriots Jessica Ennis and Louise Hazel at the Olympic Stadium on 3–4 August 2012. She finished in 13th place with a score of 6267.[18]

In September, Johnson-Thompson was nominated for the "European Athletics Rising Star award".[19] In October, she won the "Lillian Board Memorial Award" (for junior women) at the 2012 British Athletics Writers' Association Awards.[20]

In the 2013 IAAF World Championships heptathlon, Johnson-Thompson finished in 5th place. After a first day which left her in 5th place, with a PB in the 200 m, she had an excellent second day with PB's in the long jump, javelin and the 800 m. However, she admitted afterwards that she wished she had set her target of finishing in the Top 8 with more ambition, having finished just 28 points away from bronze medallist Dafne Schippers.[21][22]

First World Indoor and European medals[edit]

Johnson-Thompson won the pentathlon at the 2015 European Indoor Championships in Prague, becoming only the second woman to achieve 5,000 points or more in the event.

On 11 July 2014, Johnson-Thompson set a new long jump personal best of 6.92 m at the Glasgow Diamond League meeting, taking her to number 2 on the British all-time list for the event.[23] She won gold at the 2014 edition of the prestigious heptathlon Hypo-Meeting in Götzis[24] with a world leading personal best score of 6682 but missed the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the European Championships after suffering a foot injury.[25]

Johnson-Thompson set a new British high jump record with a height of 1.97 metres at the British Indoor Championships in Sheffield on 14 February 2015,[26] surpassing her previous record of 1.96 metres set on 8 February 2014.[27] Prior to Johnson-Thompson, Debbie Marti's 1.95-metre jump had held the record since 1997.[28] On 21 February, she set a new British indoor long jump record with a distance of 6.93 m at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix.[29]

In August 2015, Johnson-Thompson finished in 28th place in the heptathlon at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing after three foul jumps in the long jump. She had been lying in second place to Jessica Ennis-Hill after the first day of events.[30]

Johnson-Thompson competed at the 2016 Hypo-Meeting in May of that year, her first major competition since undergoing knee surgery in the autumn of 2015: she finished the competition in sixth with a score of 6,304 points, securing her place at the 2016 Rio Olympics by beating the qualifying standard of 6,200 points.[31]

She missed out on a medal at the Games, taking sixth in the heptathlon, although her performance in the heptathlon high jump of 1.98 m set a new British high jump record, and would have been good enough to take gold in the stand-alone Olympic high jump competition.[32]

In September 2016, UK Athletics confirmed that Johnson-Thompson had split with coach Mike Holmes, having been trained by him since 2008.[33]

She subsequently moved to Montpellier, France, to be coached by a team led by Bertrand Valcin, joining a training group including Olympic decathlon medalist Kevin Mayer and double European heptathlon champion Antoinette Nana Djimou.[34]

On 5–6 August 2017, Johnson-Thompson competed in the heptathlon at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics held in London. After moving to Montpellier, she was expected to land a podium position but was not able to surpass the 1.86 barrier in the heptathlon's high jump, with a successful jump at 1.80 m, which gave her 978 points. In a post heptathlon Day 1 interview, she stated: "High jump is one of my best events, I lost 200 points in just one event so that's massive. I'm massively disappointed but I'm trying to move on. In Day 2, long jump is one of my good events so hopefully I can do well there".[35] Johnson-Thompson finished in 5th place with 6558 points. She also competed in the single high jump event, finishing fifth with a season's best jump at 1.95 m.[1]

World and Commonwealth titles[edit]

Katarina competes in the long jump event at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin.

In 2018, Johnson-Thompson won the World indoor pentathlon and the Commonwealth Games heptathlon titles,[36] before going on to win a silver medal behind World and Olympic champion Nafi Thiam in the heptathlon at the European Championships, recording a personal best score of 6759 points,[37] to move into the world all-time Top 25.

In May 2019, at the 45th Hypomeeting in Götzis, Johnson-Thompson recorded a new personal best of 6,813 in the heptathlon, taking her up to 18th on the world all-time list.[38]

She won gold in the heptathlon at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar with a British record of 6981 points.[39]

She was less successful at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo: a ruptured Achilles tendon threatened to disrupt her preparation for the tournament, which she came close to missing entirely. Having made enough of a recovery to actually participate, and was in fifth place after the first three events (including her favoured high jump), she suffered a tear in her calf muscle during the 200m, and fell. She got up and continued the race to the end, only to be disqualified on the technicality of having stepped (or rather fallen) out of her lane: in any case she was unable to compete in the remaining events.

Johnson-Thompson won the heptathlon at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.[40]

Johnson-Thompson won gold again in the heptathlon at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary; her second World Champion title.[41]

Personal life[edit]

Since 2016, Johnson-Thompson has divided her time between her native Liverpool and the French city of Montpellier. She began dating fellow athlete Andrew Pozzi in 2018.[42] She is a lifelong fan of her hometown football team Liverpool FC.[43]


All information from World Athletics profile.[1]

Personal bests[edit]

Event Record Points Meeting Venue Date Notes
100 m hurdles 13.09 s 1111 2019 World Championships Doha, Qatar 2 October 2019
High jump 1.98 m 1211 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 12 August 2016 NR
Shot put 13.92 m 789 2023 Hypo-Meeting Götzis, Austria 27 May 2023
200 metres 22.79 s 1100 2016 Hypo-Meeting Götzis, Austria 28 May 2016
Long jump 6.92 m 1145 2014 Glasgow Grand Prix Glasgow, United Kingdom 11 July 2014
Javelin 46.14 m 785 2023 World Championships Budapest, Hungary 20 August 2023
800 metres 2:05.63 min 1030 2023 World Championships Budapest, Hungary 20 August 2023
Heptathlon 6981 pts PB total: 7171 2019 World Championships Doha, Qatar 4 October 2019 NR, 6th of all time
Event Record Points Meeting Venue Date Notes
60 m hurdles 8.18 s 1088 2015 European Indoor Championships Prague, Czech Republic 6 March 2015
High jump 1.97 m 1198 2015 British Indoor Championships Sheffield, United Kingdom 14 February 2015
Shot put 13.15 m 737 2019 European Indoor Championships Glasgow, United Kingdom 1 March 2019
Long jump 6.93 m 1149 2015 Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham, United Kingdom 21 February 2015
800 metres 2:09.13 min 977 2019 European Indoor Championships Glasgow, United Kingdom 1 March 2019
Pentathlon 5000 pts PB total: 5149 2015 European Indoor Championships Prague, Czech Republic 6 March 2015 NRi, 5th of all time
60 metres 7.50 s 2014 Northern U17/U20/Senior Championships Sheffield, United Kingdom 18 January 2014

Seasonal bests[edit]

Katarina at the Anniversary Games in London, July 2016.
Johnson-Thompson (R) with Anouk Vetter at the 2017 World Championships held in London.
Johnson-Thompson won the 800 m run to claim the pentathlon title at the 2018 World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Result
Representing  Great Britain /  England
2009 World Youth Championships Brixen, Italy 1st Heptathlon 5750 pts
European Junior Championships Novi Sad, Serbia 8th Heptathlon 5375 pts
2011 European Junior Championships Tallinn, Estonia 6th Heptathlon 5787 pts
2012 World Junior Championships Barcelona, Spain 1st Long jump 6.81 m
Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 14th Heptathlon 6267 pts
2013 European U23 Championships Tampere, Finland 1st Heptathlon 6215 pts
World Championships Moscow, Russia 5th Heptathlon 6449 pts
2014 World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland 2nd Long jump 6.81 m
2015 European Indoor Championships Prague, Czech Republic 1st Pentathlon 5000 pts
World Championships Beijing, China 28th Heptathlon 5039 pts
11th Long jump 6.63 m
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 6th Heptathlon 6523 pts
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 5th High jump 1.95 m
5th Heptathlon 6558 pts
2018 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 1st Pentathlon 4750 pts
Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia 1st Heptathlon 6255 pts
European Championships Berlin, Germany 2nd Heptathlon 6759 pts
2019 European Indoor Championships Glasgow, United Kingdom 1st Pentathlon 4983 pts
World Championships Doha, Qatar 1st Heptathlon 6981 pts NR
2021 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan Heptathlon DNF
2022 World Indoor Championships Belgrade, Serbia Pentathlon DNF
World Championships Eugene, OR, United States 8th Heptathlon 6222 pts
Commonwealth Games Birmingham, England 1st Heptathlon 6377 pts
2023 World Championships Budapest, Hungary 1st Heptathlon 6740 pts

Detailed heptathlon scores[edit]

Key:   Lifetime best

Competition 100 m hurdles High jump Shot put 200 metres Long jump Javelin throw 800 metres Heptathlon[44] Notes
2012 Olympic Games 13.48 s =PB 1.89 m PB 11.32 m 23.73 s PB 6.19 m 38.37 m 2:10.76 min PB 6267 pts NJR
2013 World Championships 13.49 s 1.83 m 11.52 m 23.37 s PB 6.56 m PB 40.86 m PB 2:07.64 min PB 6449 pts PB
2014 Glasgow Grand Prix 6.92 m
2015 World Championships 13.37 s PB 1.89 m =PB 12.47 m PB 23.08 s NM 39.52 m 2:50.73 min 5039 pts SB
2016 Hypo-Meeting 13.37 s =PB 1.92 m PB 11.55 m 22.79 s 6.17 m 36.66 m 2:16.81 min 6304 pts
2016 Olympic Games 13.48 s 1.98 m NR 11.68 m 23.26 s 6.51 m 36.36 m 2:10.47 min 6523 pts SB
2017 World Championships 13.33 s 1.80 m 12.47 m 22.86 s 6.56 m 41.72 m 2:08.10 min 6558 pts
2018 Commonwealth Games 13.54 s 1.87 m 11.54 m 23.56 s 6.50 m 40.46 m 2:21.24 min 6255 pts
2018 European Championships 13.34 s 1.91 m 13.09 m 22.88 s 6.68 m 42.16 m PB 2:09.84 min 6759 pts PB
2019 World Championships 13.09 s 1.95 m 13.86 m 23.08 s 6.77 m 43.93 m PB 2:07.26 min 6981 pts WL NR
2021 Olympic Games 13.27 s 1.86 m 13.31 m DQ DNS DNS DNS DNF
2022 World Championships 13.55 s 1.83 m 12.92 m 23.62 s 6.28 m 39.18 m 2:19.16 min 6222 pts SB
2022 Commonwealth Games 13.83 s 1.84 m 12.94 m 23.70 s 6.33 m 44.33 m 2:13.93 min 6377 pts SB
2023 Hypo-Meeting 13.88 s 1.89 m 13.92 m 23.26 s 6.32 m 44.14 m 2:12.40 min 6556 pts
2023 World Championships 13.50 s 1.86 m 13.64 m 23.48 s 6.54 m 46.14 m 2:05.63 min 6740 pts SB

National titles[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Katarina JOHNSON-THOMPSON – Athlete Profile". World Athletics. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  2. ^ Top lists senior outdoor Heptathlon women. IAAF. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Katarina Johnson-Thompson". British Olympic Association. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  4. ^ Ingle, Sean (15 August 2018). "Katarina Johnson-Thompson: 'There have been some hard times … dad definitely spurred me on'". Archived from the original on 4 October 2019. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Vogue Meets Katarina Johnson-Thompson". vogue. London. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  6. ^ Farmer, Drew (11 August 2017). "Katarina Johnson-Thompson runs for two countries as Bahamas ties remain strong". Bahamas Athletics. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  7. ^ "About | Katarina Johnson-Thompson". Archived from the original on 1 July 2019. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  8. ^ "BBC Radio Merseyside on Twitter". Twitter. Archived from the original on 7 October 2019. Retrieved 7 October 2019. Coming up on Drive with @paulsaltysalt - we visit @StMarksHalewood - the primary school where @JohnsonThompson first took up athletics.We speak to one of her teachers and pupils who are inspired to emulate her success…
  9. ^ "Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Killing Eve star 'proud' of school friend". BBC News. 4 October 2019. Archived from the original on 7 December 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  10. ^ Wright, Jade (25 July 2012). "Why Halewood teen Katarina Johnson-Thompson is going for gold in the Olympics". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  11. ^ a b Prentice, David (4 July 2012). "Factfiles on Merseyside's four athletes in Team GB's squad for the Olympics in London". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  12. ^ Gunderson, Craig (12 January 2012). "Katarina Johnson-Thompson Anticipates Successful 2012". athleticos.org. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  13. ^ Prentice, David (12 June 2012). "Jessica Ennis tips Katarina Johnson-Thompson for the top after more record breaking heptathlon feats". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  14. ^ a b "Katarina Johnson-Thompson beats Jessica Ennis's junior record". BBC Sport. 6 May 2012. Archived from the original on 22 August 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  15. ^ "Results 2012 – heptathlon". IAAF. 6 May 2012. Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  16. ^ Hart, Simon (10 June 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Jessica Ennis believes Katarina Johnson-Thompson 'can surpass me in the heptathlon'". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  17. ^ Prentice, David (27 June 2012). "Katarina Johnson-Thompson to scale back events at World Junior Athletics Championships". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  18. ^ "Women's Heptathlon". Official site of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  19. ^ "Nominations announced for 2012 European Athlete of the Year". uka.org.uk. 12 September 2012. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  20. ^ "Farah and Ennis voted British Athletes of the Year". uka.org.uk. 26 October 2012. Archived from the original on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  21. ^ Hart, Simon (13 August 2013). "World Athletics Championships 2013: Britain's Katarina Johnson-Thompson just misses out on heptathlon bronze". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  22. ^ "14th IAAF World Championships Timetable by day". iaaf.org. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  23. ^ liverpoolecho Administrator (11 July 2014). "Liverpool athlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson underlines Commonwealth Games medal potential in style – Liverpool Echo". liverpoolecho. Archived from the original on 15 February 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  24. ^ "Katarina Johnson-Thompson wins Götzis heptathlon with javelin best". The Guardian. June 2014. Archived from the original on 9 October 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  25. ^ Sean Ingle (21 July 2014). "Katarina Johnson-Thompson out of Commonwealth Games with foot injury". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 September 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  26. ^ "Katarina Johnson-Thompson sets British high jump record". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 23 April 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  27. ^ "Athletics – Johnson-Thompson breaks national high jump record". February 2014. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014.
  28. ^ "All-time UK Women's Overall High jump Ranking List". power of 10. Retrieved 21 January 2023.
  29. ^ "Katarina Johnson-Thompson sets British long jump record". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  30. ^ "Katarina Johnson-Thompson suffers Worlds heptathlon agony". BBC Sport. 23 August 2015. Archived from the original on 23 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  31. ^ Lewis, Aimee (29 May 2016). "Rio 2016: Katarina Johnson-Thompson qualifies for Olympic Games". BBC. Archived from the original on 24 August 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  32. ^ Trehan, Dev (23 August 2016). "Rio Olympics: Katarina Johnson-Thompson targets 2020 Tokyo Olympics medal". skysports.com. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  33. ^ Staff (23 September 2016). "Katarina Johnson-Thompson splits with coach Mike Holmes". Athletics Weekly. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  34. ^ Ingle, Sean (21 May 2017). "Katarina Johnson-Thompson revitalised by move to France". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 May 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  35. ^ "Katarina Johnson-Thompson GBR Heptathlon Day 1". 5 August 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2017 – via YouTube.
  36. ^ "How Johnson-Thompson won Commonwealth gold". 12 April 2018. Archived from the original on 20 October 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  37. ^ "Johnson-Thompson revels in new-found confidence". 10 August 2018. Archived from the original on 9 September 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  38. ^ Johnson-Thompson climbs world all-time list while Warner sets the standard for 2019 in Götzis Archived 27 May 2019 at the Wayback Machine Gabriella Pieraccini, iaaf.org, 26 May 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019
  39. ^ "Katarina Johnson-Thompson wins World Athletics Championships heptathlon gold". BBC Sport. 3 October 2019. Archived from the original on 5 October 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  40. ^ "Commonwealth Games: Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Eilish McColgan claim golds". BBC Sport. 3 August 2022. Archived from the original on 4 August 2022. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  41. ^ "Johnson-Thompson wins stunning heptathlon world gold". BBC Sport. 20 August 2023. Retrieved 21 August 2023.
  42. ^ "Katarina Johnson-Thompson 'excited' for future after banishing demons at European Championships". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  43. ^ "Home | Katarina Johnson-Thompson". Archived from the original on 6 February 2020. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  44. ^ "Katarina Johnson-Thompson". Power of 10. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.

External links[edit]