Katarina Johnson-Thompson has released a heartfelt statement after injury ruined her hopes of a medal and forced her to pull out of the heptathlon at the Tokyo Olympics
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Olympic hero Katarina Johnson-Thompson has expressed her pride and revealed the extent of the difficulties she has faced after her injury heartbreak in Tokyo.
Johnson-Thompson was forced out of the heptathlon after suffering an injury to her right calf in the 200m, refusing treatment to complete the race by walking over the finish line.
But she was ultimately disqualified for leaving her lane and will not compete in the remaining events.
Johnson-Thompson was offered a wheelchair as she lay writhing in agony on the track, but explains she was not willing for her Olympic campaign to end in that fashion.
The Liverpudlian started this year in a wheelchair after rupturing her Achilles in December.
She says making it over the finish line was a ‘miracle’, and firmly believes she was in medal contention despite the struggles she has faced.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Johnson-Thompson wrote: “I don’t know where to begin in trying to explain how I feel. Only a handful of people understand what I’ve been through. Even a smaller amount understand the mental and physical challenges I’ve faced trying to make it back in time through a pandemic after my Achilles ruptured the back end of December. I started the year in a wheelchair and I was not willing to end my Olympic campaign the same way.
“To make it to the line was a miracle. To not only do that, but to be on my way to putting a decent score together, is heartbreaking. I truly believed I was capable of winning a medal despite having up to half a year of missed training.
“More than ever, I am proud that I showed up, put myself out there and tried. It would have been very easy to shy away & pull out, to say I wasn’t ready and blame the injury but I’m not that type of athlete or person. I am a fighter, I’m gritty AF and I find it extremely hard to give up. I can rest easy knowing I applied myself every single day and pushed until I couldn’t push anymore.
“I’ve sacrificed so much, moving my entire life to France 5 years ago away from my family and friends. I’ve lost heart knowing that the work my team and I have done for the last 8 months was for this outcome and I hate that my story has played out in more heartbreak. I’ve been knocked so many times and got back up, but it will take a lot of time for me to process this reality.
“I appreciate everyone’s kind messages. Thank you x.”