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KJT joins long jump line-up in Birmingham

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Published in Athletics
Monday, 16 May 2022 02:44

World heptathlon champion will face Malaika Mihambo, Ivana Vuleta and Lorraine Ugen at the Müller Birmingham Diamond League on May 21

With less than a week to go before the Müller Birmingham Diamond League, Katarina Johnson-Thompson has entered the star-studded meeting and will compete in the long jump.

The Briton will face Olympic and world long jump champion Malaika Mihambo of Germany, world indoor champion Ivana Vuleta of Serbia and world indoor medallists Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk of Ukraine and Lorraine Ugen of Britain.

Fans will be hoping the competition is as tight as the 2019 Diamond League in Birmingham where Olympic heptathlon won the women’s long jump with 6.86m with Johnson-Thompson and Vuleta just one centimetre behind.

“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my career, and it’s really taught me to grasp opportunities when they come along as you never know what is around the corner,” said the Liverpool Harrier who is due to make her first competitive appearance in the UK since her Olympic Games were ended due to injury.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mark Shearman)

“I’m hoping to defend both my World and Commonwealth titles this summer and that’s a huge motivator for me. To compete in the Alexander Stadium ahead of the Commonwealth Games is a fantastic opportunity.

“I’m working on some new things, it’s still relatively early season and although it’s important for me to perform at the highest level, it’s also about building slowly towards the major championships, gaining confidence, and just getting back out there and enjoying myself,” added Johnson-Thompson, who is now coached by Petros Kyprianou in Florida.

“I love being an athlete and competing in front of big crowds, so the opportunity to compete in front of the British fans at home is very special and one I’m really looking forward to.”

Malaika Mihambo (Mark Shearman)

The 29-year-old is ranked third on the British all-time list for long jump with a best of 6.93m (indoors), is also a world indoor pentathlon champion (2018), world indoor long jump silver medallist (2014) and European Championships silver medallist (2018) – and her outdoor best is 6.92m.

In addition to holding the British heptathlon record (6981) – a mark she achieved in winning her global outdoor title in Doha 2019 – she’s the national high jump record holder with a best height of 1.98m.

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