Heptathlete spurns wheelchair, limps to finish line


TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 04: Katarina Johnson-Thompson of Team Great Britain receives medical attention during the Women’s Heptathlon 200m heats on day twelve of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 04, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

World champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s Olympic bid ended early and abruptly on Wednesday when she collapsed to the track during heats for the heptathlon 200 meters.

Johnson-Thompson, who had injured her Achilles tendon several months ago pulled up and began limping about 10 seconds into her heat as she was rounding the curve toward the finish line. Writhing in pain and grabbing her taped right ankle, Johnson-Thompson was quickly surrounded by medical staff. One volunteer offered a wheelchair, which Johnson-Thompson quickly waved off.

The Briton rose to her feet on her own and gingerly limped to the finish line to complete her heat. While she finished the race, Johnson-Thompson was disqualified for leaving her lane.

She has withdrawn from competition suffering what Team GB said was a calf injury.

Johnson-Thompson has won two World Championships but was seeking her first Olympic title. In Tokyo, she won her hurdles heat and cleared 1.86 meters in the high jump before her injury in the 200m.

The heptathlon will resume on Thursday, starting with the long jump.

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