I still have long way to go to catch Jessica Ennis-Hill, says Katarina Johnson-Thompson

But heptathlete is enjoying the season of her life

athletics correspondent

Katarina Johnson-Thompson may be the heptathlete of the moment. But rather than revel in her place as the de facto world champion following victory at last month’s Hypo-Meeting in Götzis, she argues that, in her mind for now at least, she is a mere stand-in for Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Johnson-Thompson has enjoyed the season of her life. Aside from winning Götzis, she won individual silver at the World Indoors in the long jump – for which she is not even a specialist – and at the recent British Championships set a personal best of 6.81 metres.

Her sights are again set on victory in the long-jump pit on Friday at the Glasgow Grand Prix at Hampden Park, which acts as the warm-up for her return to the same arena and her quest for a first major championship heptathlon title at the Commonwealth Games.

However, she believes that Ennis-Hill will still be the person to beat when she returns from maternity leave. “Everyone should remember the way Jess bounced back from Beijing [when a foot injury ruled her out of the 2008 Olympics],” said her successor as British and world No 1. “She had the injury which she didn’t think she was going to come back from, then suddenly she was on top of the world. So Jess has the ability to come back and be the same or better than she was before.”

A head-to-head between Britain’s leading two heptathletes will have to wait. But of a future showdown, Johnson-Thompson said: “That would be great for heptathlon. She wants to get back for the World Championships and for Rio [the 2016 Olympics], so hopefully I can keep progressing.”

When Ennis-Hill enjoyed her career high, Johnson-Thompson was just stepping on to the big stage for the first time, the then teenager, beaming from ear to ear from the moment 80,000 people roared her name on the start line for the 100m hurdles. She finished 15th in that Olympic final on “Super Saturday”.

Her rise since has been meteoric. Not even she thought she deserved a place among the world’s elite until the second day of the World Championships in Moscow last year, where she finished fifth. “I went into Moscow having finished 15th in the Olympics the year before still as a junior athlete,” she recalled.  “Had my high jump been better and had I hit the board on the long jump, I could have medalled. That’s what I took to Götzis, that’s what changed everything for me.”

Meanwhile, Britain’s heptathlon prospect Morgan Lake, 17, has withdrawn from the Commonwealth Games to concentrate on the World Junior Championships.

Also, Dai Greene made a winning start to his season as he pipped the world 400 hurdles champion Jehue Gordon in Hungary.

However, the 2011 world champion, who underwent three hernia operations during the winter, only clocked 49.89sec, below the European Championships ‘A qualifying mark, which means he might have to find another race before the closing date of 14 July to convince the British selectors to take him to Zurich.

house + home
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Life and Style
Bats detect and react to wind speed and direction through sensors on their wings
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living