British Athletics head coach Christian Malcolm expects Katarina Johnson-Thompson to be “100 per cent” fit for the Olympics, despite struggling with an Achilles injury.
The world champion heptathlete is one of the big names missing from Britain’s squad for next month’s European Indoor Championships in Poland, along with athletes like sprinter Dina Asher-Smith.
It is understood that Johnson-Thompson, who would have been defending her pentathlon title, will return to training in March, and Malcolm has no concerns that her setback will hinder her chances of winning gold in Tokyo.
Johnson-Thompson out until March
"From what I know about the injury, at this moment, not really,” he said.
"For her it is just about having more time to focus on the Olympics without any indoor distractions.
I have no doubts about her being 100 per cent (in Tokyo). But I don't have a crystal ball, so I can't go out there saying things might happen.
"I have no doubts at the moment, and there is not much more I can say about that. The ultimate thing is she has picked up this injury, she has decided to not do the indoors so she can focus on preparations for the Olympic Games."
Malcolm, a double world relay bronze medallist during his time as a sprinter, was appointed as the new British Athletics head coach in September and will be leading the team at his first major international competition in the role.
He says Johnson-Thompson, Asher-Smith and Asha Philip, who are all missing from the squad, would have been in their plans in any other year other than one which concentrates on the Olympics.
"The main focus for her (Johnson-Thompson) has always been the Olympic Games. For any athlete right now it is the ability to train which is the challenge, and travelling, so the safest option is just to stay focused on the end goal, which for a lot of athletes is the Olympics."
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