Johnson-Thompson wins long jump gold
July 13, 2012 23:07 pm
Liverpool teenager Katarina Johnson-Thompson gave an emphatic boost to her Olympic preparations by winning long jump gold at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona tonight.
Johnson-Thompson's third jump of 6.81 metres was enough to finish top of the standings although she had an agonising wait to claim victory as Germany's Lena Malkus reached 6.80m on her final jump.
It capped an impressive day for Johnson-Thompson, who has qualified to represent Great Britain in the heptathlon at the London Games, having earlier clocked a personal best 13.48secs to safely qualify from her 100m heat.
Johnson-Thompson, whose winning jump was not classed as a personal best because of an illegal wind-speed, said: "I am really pleased with that because I didn't expect it. I thought I would be in with a shot at the top five or the top three maybe, if I hit the board right.
"I always knew in my head there was a big jump coming. This time it all came together when it really mattered. When it comes to peaking at the right time, I have to thank my coach Mike Holmes - he is a genius.
"When the German athlete did her big jump I couldn't really see what distance it was - I had to ask an official. What a relief to find out it was 6.80m, not 6.82m - I don't think I could have responded as my big jump had taken all my adrenaline out of me."
However, despite her success Johnson-Thompson - who has been tipped for a great future by both Jessica Ennis and Denise Lewis in recent weeks - insisted the heptathlon would always remain her main event.
Johnson-Thompson added: "This performance is a massive boost for the Olympic Games, but my focus is not going to change after that. People ask me if I am going to be a long jumper, but my focus will remain on the heptathlon. I will work hard to make sure I deliver jumps like this in the heptathlon and get the points."
Johnson-Thompson was joined on the podium by team-mate and close friend Jazmin Sawyers, whose first-round jump of 6.67m was enough to win her the bronze medal.
Great Britain's Desiree Henry just missed out on a medal in the women's 200m final, finishing in fourth place with a time of 23.34secs, behind winner Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas.
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