Katarina Johnson-Thompson wins World Championship gold with stunning heptathlon display

Britain's Katarina Johnson-Thompson wins the the Women's Heptathlon at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Khalifa International stadium in Doha on October 3, 2019. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

Katarina Johnson-Thompson secured the heptathlon gold medal at the World Athletics Championships with a stunning performance in Doha.

The 26-year-old set a British record of 6981 points to win her first global outdoor medal ahead of Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam, as she set four personal-bests to become World Champion.

Reigning champion Thiam was expected to close the overnight gap, but Johnson-Thompson extended her lead with a fine long-jump effort, before throwing a personal-best in the javelin which kept her ahead prior to the 800m.

With a personal best eight seconds quicker than Thiam - the only athlete who could realistically overtake her - Johnson-Thompson knew that a time of 2.09mins or quicker would secure not only the gold, but also beat Jessica Ennis-Hill’s British record.

And the Liverpudlian did just that on a momentous night in the stifling Qatari heat, setting another PB as she romped home in 2.07.26mins.

It was a performance labelled ‘stunning’ and ‘perfection’ by Ennis-Hill, the now former British record holder, as she finished 304 points ahead of Thiam, who scored 6677.

DOHA, QATAR - OCTOBER 03: Katarina Johnson-Thompson of Great Britain competes in the Women's Heptathlon Javelin Throw during day seven of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on October 03, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Earlier in the day Johnson-Thompson recorded 6.32m with her first long-jump attempt before improving to post 6.77m – the biggest leap of the competition.

Her no-jump on her third go did not matter as she comfortably had a better mark than Thiam’s 6.40, substantially down on the 6.86m she managed in August.

Then in the javelin, Johnson-Thompson recorded a PB 43.93 metres with her second effort to apply more pressure on Thiam.

The Belgian’s record is 59.32m but struggling with an elbow injury, she fouled with her first throw and after registering 48.04m chose not to take her final effort as she walked off the track to prepare for the 800m.

DOHA, QATAR - OCTOBER 02: Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium and Katarina Johnson-Thompson of Great Britain compete in the Women's Heptathlon 100 metres hurdles during day six of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on October 02, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Even though Thiam was out of sorts, it takes nothing away from Johnson-Thompson’s phenomenal achievement which started on the first day of the event.

She ran a personal-best 13.09 seconds in the 100m hurdles, matched Thiam’s 1.95 metres in the high-jump and increased her PB in the shotput by 0.71m to 13.86m.

The first day concluded following the 200m and Johnson-Thompson led Thiam by 96 points, nine more than she did at the same stage in the European Indoor Championships, when she ended with a silver medal.

But the Brit never looked like giving up her lead on the second day here and the joy on her face was clear to see as she crossed the finish line to taste glory.