Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s Olympic medal hopes ended as the world champion pulled up injured in the heptathlon 200m before picking herself up to jog across the line.
The 28-year-old went down after completing the bend. She refused treatment and completed the race but was disqualified because she left the lane. British Athletics confirmed Johnson-Thompson had pulled out of the heptathlon, having “sustained an injury to her right calf”.
She had been sitting fifth after the shot put but, given her injury-ravaged buildup, will be a massive doubt to finish the heptathlon on Thursday. She is still due to compete in the long jump, javelin and 800m.
Her disqualification ruins what had been a promising first day and left her hopes of securing a medal in tatters. It was another blow to an already beleaguered Team GB athletics squad as the injury curse struck again.
Dina Asher-Smith pulled out of the 200m having failed to make the 100m final. She revealed she had been battling a serious hamstring injury suffered in the trials in June. Adam Gemili tore a hamstring at the last minute before running in his 200m heat and walked the race.
Great Britain have won just one medal at the Olympic Stadium so far, Keely Hodgkinson’s impressive silver in the women’s 800m.
The former Olympic heptathlon champions Denise Lewis and Jessica Ennis-Hill expressed their devastation for Johnson-Thompson. Speaking on BBC Two, Lewis said: “I’m just so gutted for her. So gutted for her. She’s worked so hard to get to this stage.”
Ennis-Hill said: “She’s been such a victim to the past 18 months. She had the best year of her life in 2019, she was ready to go. When you’re in that position, going into an Olympic year, that’s the best place you can be – you just need to ride through the winter, maintain that form, and you’re at the Olympics.
“But she’s had that 18-month lay-off where it’s really hard to maintain that, how hard you push with training. The event is so gruelling and it’s ended up in injury. It’s utterly, utterly devastating for her.
“For the years that she’s had in the sport, there’s been some lows. It seems so unfair that she has to be in this position again.”