Commonwealth Games: Katarina Johnson-Thompson withdraws following medical advice
By Sam Drury. Last Updated: 21/07/14 3:06pm
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Still hopes to compete at the European Championships
Heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson has withdrawn from the England team for the Commonwealth Games due to a stress reaction in her foot, following medical advice.
The 21-year-old Liverpool Harrier is ranked No 1 in the world and was favourite to win gold in the women’s multi-discipline event in Glasgow.
"All the advice is telling me that I risk long term damage if I compete in a heptathlon in just over a week’s time"
Johnson-Thompson has spoken of her disappointment at having been ruled out of the Games with an injury that also puts her participation in the long jump at August's European Championships in doubt.
“I’m absolutely devastated that I’m not going to be able to compete at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,” she said in a statement on the Team England website.
“I was so looking forward to competing in another home games and this time as one of the favourites. The Commonwealths was a key target for me this year and I was feeling so good in my preparation up until this week so this is a real blow.
“All the advice is telling me that I risk long-term damage if I compete in a heptathlon in just over a week’s time and I have to take that advice for the sake of my career.
“I really hope to be able to compete in the long jump at the European Championships next month but it doesn’t take away how gutted I am that I won’t be at the Commonwealths.”
British Athletics performance director Neil Black has backed the youngster’s decision and believes that despite the disappointment, Johnson-Thompson had made the right decision for her career in the long term.
“Obviously we’re really disappointed for Katarina as the Commonwealth Games was a big target for her this year, but the key thing is ensuring we don’t risk her long term career,” he said.
“I know she is personally devastated as this was her main aim this season and was determined to take her place on the start line so as not to let the Glasgow 2014 spectators down.
“However Katarina and her coach Mike (Holmes) are incredibly experienced as an athlete-coach pairing and realise that it is not worth risking a long term injury.”