Johnson-Thompson pulls out of prestigious Gotzis event

Katarina Johnson-Thompson broke the British indoor pentathlon record in March
Katarina Johnson-Thompson broke the British indoor pentathlon record in March
By Aimee Lewis, BBC Sport

Katarina Johnson-Thompson will not defend her title at the Gotzis Hypo-Meeting in Austria later this month as she is not "sufficiently prepared".

The 22-year-old narrowly finished second in the 200m hurdles at the Great City Games in Manchester on Saturday.

But the European indoor pentathlon champion's training has been disrupted by a knee injury sustained in March.

Her coach Mike Holmes said: "Much of the preparation necessary to compete across all events has been lost."

The news will come as a disappointment to those anticipating a match-up in Austria between Johnson-Thompson and Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Holmes said it had been "necessary to reflect on the how the season should proceed" following Manchester and that the Liverpudlian's main focus would now be the World Championships in Beijing.

"Some good conditioning work has been possible, but it is only recently that Katarina has returned to relatively light track work, which was sufficient to enable her to compete on Saturday," added Holmes.

"It is now possible to start back and progress steadily to full training to catch up and prepare for later in the summer. With the World Championships heptathlon in Beijing, starting on 22 August, very much in mind."

Katarina Johnson-Thompson
Johnson-Thompson is only the second woman to break the 5000-point barrier for the pentathlon

Johnson-Thompson has established herself as the best heptathlete in the world over the last 12 months, winning the prestigious Gotzis meeting last year with a score which placed her third on the British all-time list.

In March she broke Ennis-Hill's British indoor pentathlon record when becoming European indoor champion, an experience Holmes has said took its toll emotionally and physically on the athlete.

She looked crestfallen after winning gold, her first major title, in Poland and reacted tearfully at coming to within 13 points of breaking the pentathlon world record.

It is still uncertain whether Ennis-Hill will compete in Gotzis on 30-31 May, with her coach Toni Minichiello saying the 29-year-old has "a bit of work to do" before a decision would be made.

Were Ennis-Hill to go to Austria it would be her first heptathlon competition since winning gold at London 2012.

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