Katarina Johnson-Thompson out to beat Nafi Thiam in World Champs not mind games

Katarina Johnson-Thompson says she won’t resort to mind games in her quest to dethrone Nafi Thiam at next week’s World Athletics Championships.

The British star is heptathlon queen of the Commonwealth as well as world and European champion indoors.

And she heads to Doha with her sights firmly set on beating Thiam, the world and Olympic champion and third greatest multi-eventer ever.

The pair fought a battle royal in Berlin last year before Thiam pipped the Liverpudlian to European gold. Johnson-Thompson wants her revenge but not, she says, at any cost.



Johnson-Thompson at Birmingham Grand Prix this summer…



…and out with her good friend and ‘Killing Eve’ star Jodie Comer

“Mind games is not my thing, I wouldn’t know how to get into other people’s heads,” she insisted. “Also that’s happened to me before in the past and it’s not a good way to try and win.

“For me you’ve got to try and win with big performances. I would rather focus on myself and try and make me the best I can be rather than play mind games.

“I always like being honest about myself and where I am, sometimes to my detriment. It is just how I am I guess.“



Olympic heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam

Johnson-Thompson has had mental performance barriers to overcome down the years but since moving to France has done a superb job at clearing all the clutter.

She is now back looking every inch the star her potential suggested she would become when she first hit the senior ranks.

“I have had the best run-in ever, in terms of preparation,” she admitted. “I am growing each year as a person and coming into a world champs, then Olympics next year, I am happy with the place I am in.



Johnson-Thompson takes silver behind Thiam at last year’s European Champs in Berlin

“But I don’t think I have ever had a heptathlon where everything comes together at once. That is what I am working towards.

“For me it is not just the act of wanting to win a gold medal, it is trying to progress my event and my mentality around big performances.”

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