Britain's Johnson-Thompson wins heptathlon gold

Doha (AFP) –


Britain's Katarina Johnson-Thompson won the heptathlon crown at the World Championships here Thursday, downing reigning world and Olympic champion Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium to take the gold medal.

Johnson-Thompson finished the seven-discipline event with a world-leading 6,981 points to claim her first major outdoor crown.

Thiam finished with 6,677pts to take silver while Austria's Verena Preiner claimed bronze with 6,560pts.

Johnson-Thompson had pulled into a 96-point lead after Wednesday's first day of competition where she notched two huge improvements on personal bests in the opening four events.

On Thursday, the 26-year-old from Liverpool picked up where she left off the previous day, recording a solid 6.77-metre leap on her second jump.

With Thiam only able to manage a longest effort of 6.40m, Johnson-Thompson had widened her lead over her Belgian rival to 216 points heading to the javelin.

Johnson-Thompson, who usually struggles with the javelin, then produced the performance of her life to improve her personal best with a second throw of 43.93, more than a metre further than her previous longest mark.

Thiam, who has been troubled by an elbow injury this season, was unable to overturn the points deficit, fouling on her first throw before recording a second effort of 48.04m, well down on her personal best of 59.32m.

That left Johnson-Thompson firmly in control of the competition with only the 800m to come, leading by 137 points.

Johnson-Thompson made no mistake in the 800m, setting the pace early on and then powering home to win in another personal best of 2min 7.26sec.