The Briton says the injury is now fully healed

Credit: REUTERS

Katarina Johnson-Thompson insists she is still targeting the Olympic podium, despite revealing her devastation at rupturing her Achilles last December.

The world heptathlon champion has kept a low profile since suffering the injury, which caused her to undergo surgery and miss more than three months of training at the start of the year.

Even the exact nature of the injury has been kept under wraps but, speaking ahead of her return to international competition at the British Grand Prix in Gateshead on Tuesday, she confirmed it was a full Achilles rupture to her jumping leg.

“It’s been a long, tough road but I’m glad that I’m at the other end of it,” she said. “It’s a big injury so I was very sad. I was almost devastated, but it was seven months ago now.

“I’ve been really trying to focus on the future and trying to focus on putting all of my positive attention into performing at the Olympic Games. I don’t want to dwell on the past.

“I appreciate I haven’t spoken about these things so there will be a lot of questions.

“It is my jumping leg, but I high jumped off it last week, which is a very good sign. I’m long jumping [at the British Grand Prix] off the same leg. I haven’t changed legs.

“Everything has healed. I’m in a good place. I’m obviously missing competition practice, but that’s why I’m here.

“The lowest part was definitely the impact when it happened, and trying to readjust realities and certain preparations for something that I’ve been preparing for for five years.

“It’s been a tough road but I’m happy that it’s actually worked out. At one point, it could have gone one of two ways, but I’m glad it went in the best direction for me where I’m able to compete at my third Olympics.”

Johnson-Thompson’s only competition this year came a fortnight ago when she cleared 1.84 metres at a low-key, local meet at her training base in Montpellier, France.

Despite her lack of competition ahead of the Olympic heptathlon competition beginning on August 4, she says the podium remains her goal in Tokyo.

“That’s my aim,” she said. “I wouldn’t have worked as hard as I have for the last seven months to get to the position I’m in.

“My goals haven’t changed, but circumstances beforehand have changed. I just know that I’m pushing every day to still achieve my targets.”

She added: “I’m 100 per cent now. Everything is healed, I just haven’t had the competition practice that I normally would have. This is one of my first big competitions and it’s July.

“I’m 100 per cent in my body. In the coming weeks I’ll see where I’m at performance-wise.”

Johnson-Thompson will be the headline British attraction at the final Diamond League competition before the Olympics after fellow world champion Dina Asher-Smith withdrew “as a precaution” with a tight hamstring.

🇯🇵🥰 pic.twitter.com/lW3lBugh3v

— Dina Asher-Smith (@dinaashersmith) July 11, 2021