Katarina Johnson-Thompson believes it will be the athletes who have coped best with coronavirus delays that will be successful at the Tokyo Olympics.
Britain’s heptathlon world champion is preparing for her challenge at the Games, where her main challenger for gold will be her long-time rival Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium.
Johnson-Thompson’s preparations for the summer have been affected this year by an Achilles injury which ruled her out of defending her pentathlon title at the European Indoor Championships earlier this month - with Thiam taking it off of her.
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GB coach Christian Malcolm recently said he had “no doubts” she would be 100% fit for the summer, but the 28-year old felt she would have been in her best possible shape had the Olympics gone ahead as planned in 2020, when it was put back a year due to the pandemic.
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"I thought I was ready to peak more going into Tokyo - that was always the plan”, Johnson-Thompson told BBC Breakfast.
"The timing was perfect. It just got halted, but that's life.
The Olympics will be won and lost on whoever has handled the pandemic the best. There are going to be so many people who would have been champion but who aren't going to be because of the pandemic. I find that fascinating.
“All I can do is make sure I have the best prep”.
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Johnson-Thompson also believes there needs to be more opportunities for people from black, Asian and ethnic backgrounds to realise their talent in Olympic sports.
"You think the Olympics is diverse, but I was surprised that a number of sports featured all white competitors," she said.
"I think there are people out there who could be in an Olympic team and could be winning a medal, but just haven't had the right support along the way.”
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