Liverpool’s world heptathlon champion, Katarina Johnson-Thompson has been nominated for the IAAF World Athlete of the Year award.
The 26-year-old, who started her career at the Liverpool Harriers Athletic Club, became the city’s first ever athlete to win a World Championship gold medal after her emphatic performance at the World Athletic Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Mike Dooling MBE, the athletics development officer for Liverpool Harriers, described her as someone who has always been head and shoulders above the rest. He said, “I found her doing an indoors athletic club in Halewood, took her, looked at her and I could see she was special.
“Last week, when it all happened, it was electric. Everybody here was coaching and working and in between sessions, everybody’s got their phones out trying to see where she is in the event.”
Mike Holmes, a coach for the Liverpool Harriers, described it as huge thrill when asked what he thought of her recent success. He said, “She walked into this track when she was eleven and she was a very promising youngster.”
Katarina ended her agonising wait for her first global outdoor title, when she won with a British record of 6,981 points. She managed to overturn 2017 champion, Nafissatou Thiam, by a gap of 304 points.
The Liverpool athlete was one of the few British athletes in Doha whose plans to leave with a medal actually came to fruition.
Katarina took gold in the heptathlon, while fellow countrywoman, Dina Asher-Smith, took gold in the women’s 200m and silver in the women’s 100m. Great Britain also took silver in the men and women’s 4x100m relay.
The IAAF World Athlete of the Year nominee is a huge Liverpool FC fan. She has openly expressed how the likes of Liverpool youngster, Trent-Alexander Arnold and the rest of Jürgen Klopp’s team have inspired her throughout her own career.
The Merseyside heptathlete faces considerable competition for the World Athlete of the Year award. Other female nominees include: Beatrice Chepkoech, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Sifan Hassan, Brigid Kosgei, Mariya Lasitskene, Malaika Mihambo, Dalilah Muhammad, Salwa Eid Naser, Hellen Obiri and Yulimar Rojas.
The winners will be announced at the World Athletics Awards in Monaco on 23 November, follow @merseysportlive on social media for all your live updates on the event.
Featured Image credit – Jim Thurston – Creative Commons License