Black ‘really optimistic’ over Johnson-Thompson’s future

British Athletics performance director Neil Black insists Katarina Johnson-Thompson is maturing and can’t hide his excitement about what the future holds for her after her World Indoor Championship silver in Poland.

Johnson-Thompson, a heptathlon specialist, didn’t earn selection for the pentathlon in Sopot due to illness while she was overlooked for a wild card but channeled her efforts into the long jump and won silver.

The 21-year-old leapt a personal best of 6.81m that had her in gold medal position for two rounds before Eloyse Lesueur of France recorded a distance of 6.85m to overthrow her and win the world indoor title.

That was one of six medals won by Britain in Poland – Richard Kilty with 60m gold, the men’s 4x400m quartet silver and the women’s bronze along with Tiffany Porter and Andrew Osagie.

And with a busy summer ahead, performance director Black cannot wait to see what Johnson-Thompson, 15th at the London 2012 Olympics and fifth at last year’s outdoor World Championships in Moscow, delivers next.

"She's just outstanding. Katarina and her coach Mike Holmes have got a brilliant working relationship. They are calm, targeted, focused on the events,” said Black.

"They took it on the chin when she wasn't selected for the pentathlon and she has come back and shown everyone what she can do.

“I think she really is turning into a mature athlete who I think we can genuinely expect is going to be competitive at the highest level in the future.

"She's going to be a great multi-events athlete. She is obviously world standard in individual events. We are all really, really optimistic about what she can produce going forwards.

"I have worked with her closely both as a therapist and as the performance director and she's just sensible, responsive – exactly what you would expect to happen.''

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