Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s bid to defend her pentathlon title at the World Athletics Indoor Championships ended in disappointment in Belgrade.
The Brit, who won the event in Beijing when it was last held in 2018, looked extremely rusty in the five-event competition and withdrew prior to the 800m.
Johnson-Thompson started poorly, as she was last in her heat of the 60 metres hurdles, and then disappointed in the high jump.
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The high jump is one of her better events, so the sight of the Brit laid on the mat with her head in her hands after failing to clear 1.86m summed things up.
A solid shot put of 13.02m kept her in the hunt, but things unravelled in the long jump.
A foul in the first round put her under pressure, and that was followed with a safe leap 6.08m.
She went long in the third round, but a red light for overstepping the board dented her chances of securing a medal.
With her chance of a medal gone, Johnson-Thompson elected not to take the start of the 800m.
While the overall result will be disappointing, it is a positive that Johnson-Thompson is competing again following a serious Achilles injury and the failure to finish in the heptathlon at the 2021 Olympic Games.
“The most important thing was I was not going to go out and risk injury,” Johnson-Thompson said on the BBC. “My body is in great shape.
“I can take so many positives that I can get through this and looking to the summer, this is the best preparation for me for the summer.
“My training has been going well. With the big injury I had last year, it showed that I can get ready in a short space of time. This has been six to eight weeks.
“I am in good shape. I am in good enough shape to contend.
“It has motivated me for the summer. It is what I needed. I feel I needed to go out and get stuck in as I haven't for such a long time.”
Gold went to Noor Vidts, who sealed a dominant performance with victory in the 800m for an overall score of 4929 points. Adrianna Sulke took the silver medal.
Britain’s Holly Mills had a shot at a bronze medal going into the 800m, and she went out hard in the hope of overhauling Kendell Williams.
Mills gave it everything and beat Williams by almost 10 seconds, but it was not enough as she finished seven points adrift in fourth.
Mujinga Kambundji ran the third fastest time in women’s 60m history to take gold in Belgrade.
The Swiss came storming home in lane eight to clock a time of 6.96 seconds, with only Irina Privalova (6.92), Gail Devers (6.95) and Marion Jones (6.95) above her in the record books.
Femke Bol qualified for the final of the women’s 400m despite falling over the line when taking second place in her heat behind Stephenie Ann McPherson.
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