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Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s hopes of winning an Olympic medal in Tokyo came to a cruel end as she pulled up with a calf injury during the fourth discipline, the 200m, and withdrew from the competition.
Johnson-Thompson came to Tokyo having only recently recovered from an Achilles injury and there were major doubts about whether she would be fit for the Games, but it was a muscle strain which proved her undoing.
The Briton was fifth in the heptathlon rankings when she took to the start line in the 200m and well placed to challenge for the podium with some favoured events to come. But she felt an injury coming off the bend and fell to ground in pain.
She turned down the offer of medical assistance before gathering herself to limp across the line. Unfortunately she had crossed into another lane as she pulled up and it meant she was disqualified from the race.
The 28-year-old still had three events to come – long jump, javelin and 800m – but pulled out of the rest of the heptathlon.
Speaking on the BBC, 2012 Olympic heptathlon gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill said: “She had the best year of her life in 2019 and coming into an Olympic year she was in the best form she could be. 2020 ended up in injury, and for the years that she’s had in the sport, she’s had such blows.”
It was another blow to an already beleaguered Team GB athletics squad as the injury curse struck again.
Dina Asher-Smith had already pulled out of the 200m having failed to make the 100m final. She revealed she had been battling a serious hamstring injury suffered in the trials in June. Adam Gemili also tore his hamstring at the last minute before running in his 200m heat and walked the race.