Katarina Johnson-Thompson on Jodie Comer, sacrifices, and the south of France

Katerina Johnson-Thompson competes at Gotzis
Katarina Johnson-Thompson's Gotzis success followed a European silver medal behind world and Olympic champion Nafi Thiam last summer

Once the oompah band pack away the brass, the beer taps stop flowing and hordes of excited schoolchildren head to bed, a tent appears on the Mosle Stadium infield in Austria.

A banquet is laid out inside and, in front of empty stands and the looming Alps beyond, the world's best multi-eventers celebrate the end of the fabled Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis after completing two days of competition.

"There is a big dinner with music and food and you can watch the sun setting on the track," Katarina Johnson-Thompson tells BBC Sport.

In May, the Briton won the heptathlon, racking up her best-ever score and finishing well clear of a field that included world silver medallist Carolin Schafer.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson competes at Gotzis
Johnson-Thompson (far left) and the rest of the Gotzis field acknowledge the crowd

But there was little time for Johnson-Thompson to sip sundowners and shoot the breeze.

"I had to get an early flight the next day so just ate and went," she explains.

That has long been the story for Johnson-Thompson - one step ahead of the competition and once removed from the party.

In 2011, age 18, she finished sixth at the European Junior Championships in Tallinn in a heptathlon won by future double world sprint champion Dafne Schippers.

If any of the British team at that championships seemed set to make the leap in time for London 2012 it was Jodie Williams, who completed a 100m/200m double in eye-popping times.

Twelve months later, though, it was Johnson-Thompson who was in London's Olympic Stadium on Super Saturday, claiming a 13th-place finish and announcing herself as heir apparent to champion and darling of the crowd Jessica Ennis.

Eight hundred miles away, once again, a party was going on without her.

"I had some friends out in Magaluf watching me on a big screen while they were out partying," she remembers.

"I just remember the contrast. But they have all been so supportive of me when they knew that was what I wanted.

"Going into 2012, I don't know what possessed me but I just really wanted to be there.

"As a 19-year-old heptathlete that doesn't really happen - you have to have time to get good across all the events. I just had that focus."

There was another absentee from the Spain trip.

Actress Jodie Comer, who spent 2012 playing one-off roles in Casualty and Silent Witness and has been one of Johnson-Thompson's best friends since they were classmates at St Julie's School in Liverpool, was also unable to make it.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Jodie Comer
Johnson-Thompson and actress Jodie Comer have been friends since school

Comer's vicious, vulnerable portrayal of assassin Villanelle in BBC series Killing Eve has made her one of the most talked-about talents on TV.

Johnson-Thompson is yet to see the recently released second series - "don't give me any spoilers" - but the pair keep in touch via a girls' group chat, tellingly titled 'Hoes in Different Area Codes'.

Johnson-Thompson, like Comer, has accepted that while Liverpool is where her heart remains, chasing her dreams will take her far from her hometown.

At the start of 2017, following underwhelming and unhappy campaigns at the Rio 2016 Olympics and 2015 Beijing World Championships, she relocated to the south of France to work under new coach Bertrand Valcin.

It has paid off with world and European indoor golds and, most impressively, a silver at last year's European Championships when she came within 57 points of the event's high priestess Nafissatou Thiam.

That gap is equivalent to a 2.95m improvement on her javelin throw in Berlin. It is a sizeable difference, but not unbridgeable.

In Gotzis she threw 42.92m, a new personal best by 76cm, in keeping with the upward trend that has coincided with her move to France.

"I have changed a lot since I have moved out here," she adds.

"In 2017 I lived 10 minutes away from my house, I had my dogs and family, my mum was doing a lot of stuff for me and I had a lot of help.

"Out here I am doing literally everything myself - that is not news to everyone else as I thought it was in 2017, but I am a proper adult now I think.

"I said to someone recently that I was going 'home' meaning Montpellier and suddenly realised what I had said.

"I still have my house in Liverpool but I have more stuff here in Montpellier now so I think that means I live here, but I love and miss Liverpool."

Her next high-profile stop will at least bring her closer.

She will mark 10 weeks until the September's World Championships in Doha by competing against single-event specialists in the 200m and long jump at July's Anniversary Games at London Stadium.

"It is one of my favourite events to do, not just for the home track and crowd, but the competition is always excellent," she adds.

Whether Merseyside or Magaluf, the south of France or West Hollywood, she can be sure some of her most fervent support will come from far beyond the E20 postcode.

Johnson-Thompson's support crew
Johnson-Thompson's support crew, featuring Comer (far right)

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