Operated on eight months ago, the wound has fully healed, the athlete fully fit and yet there is an uncertainty – with so little competition in her arms and legs – what she might produce over the course of the two days.
On paper, it was one of the duels of the Games with Nafi Thiam and it might yet still be but the fear is that more heartache may be added to the three no jumps at the 2015 World Championships or the high jump horrors she endured two years later in London.
The reality is even she doesn’t know quite how things will play out. She explained: “I’m 100% fit, that doesn’t mean I’m in PB shape.”
The journey to get to Tokyo has been long and painful. When the British team was announced, it was with an asterisk against Johnson-Thompson’s name to prove her fitness.
She is adamant she was never in doubt about her participation at that stage, not so at the time the injury struck.
“At the start when it first happened, as an athlete you go onto Google and try to self-diagnose and see the recovery time,” she said.
“But then I started talking to doctors and got a team around me of people who said it’s possible, and it’s going to be a long, hard process. But it’s within the timeframe, that’s what I needed to hear for me. Just get me to the startline. I feel like once I’m at the startline it’s down to me.”
She is very nearly there and hoping to lean on past glories and past performances, most notably the World Championships in Doha in 2019 when she barely put a foot wrong.
She has a high jump best of 1.84metres this season – 15cm off her PB – a hurdles of 13.55seconds (nearly half a second slower), and a long jump of 6.10metres where once she could leap 6.92. And yet she still believes she can come good.
“I will call myself a championship performer… and then with the added occasion of an Olympics, hopefully that’s some more oomph for me,” she said.
“So, I’m pretty confident things are going to be better than they have been in the last couple of weeks. I can take confidence from Doha and I can take confidence from past seasons as well, where I haven’t competed in the heptathlon beforehand. And I’ve been through so many different experiences now that I feel ready to go.”
For Johnson-Thompson, who has been watching the BBC series Gold Rush documenting the climb up the medal table at 2012 with roommate Holly Bradshaw, it is a third Olympic appearance.
In London 2012, it was the Jessica Ennis show as her relative unknown countrywoman made her major championship bow. And in Rio, she was once again upstaged by her fellow Briton.
This time around, she is embracing the whole Olympic experience more thoroughly.
“Getting on the plane yesterday to come to the Olympics is something that I took for granted in Rio,” she said, “coming to the startline, putting on a Team GB kit, I’m just really really grateful for everything.
“It’s almost eight months to the day from when I had an operation. It’s been a victory to make it this fair, and I’ve done really well to get a state where I’m actually able to compete in a heptathlon after what I’ve been through.”
While the physical anguish has been the primary focus, the mental one has also been debilitating. In part, she has been eaten away by the idea that had Tokyo 2020 not been delayed by a year then she might well have been in better gold-medal contention.
It is a question she will obviously never be able to answer. “Different athletes have benefited from this – come back from pregnancies or coming back from injuries – and other athletes would have preferred the Olympics to be last year and I think I’m one of them.
“There’s a chance I’m not going to medal – and I’d have said the same pre-Doha – but I’m going to give me absolute best performance and that’s all I care about.”
Heather Knight accepts Pakistan tour withdrawal but hopes England Women can check out in long run
ngland captain Heather Knight suggests the controversial decision to pull out of the prepared tour of Pakistan was “taken out of our hands” and insists it is critical for women’s cricket that they pay a visit to the state in the long run.
England’s ladies were because of to tour Pakistan for the initially time ever as aspect of a joint white-ball tour with the men’s staff, who were returning for the first time since 2005.
Even so, after New Zealand withdrew their men’s workforce from their tour of Pakistan very last 7 days due to a “credible threat”, the ECB announced on Monday that it too was pulling the plug.
That has drawn fierce criticism from Pakistan, who are confident they can give a protected experience for going to teams.
Knight insisted verdicts on the viability of a tour are not for players, or even captains, to take care of and defended the ECB’s ideal to make the phone.
Talking immediately after her side’s a few-wicket defeat to New Zealand at Leicester, she reported: “We found yesterday that the board experienced built the final decision for us not to go and it’s higher than our heads a minimal bit.
“I feel the the dialogue and the communication between the board and PCA (experienced cricketers’ association) is a robust a person, and it was a tough situation with what experienced gone on with New Zealand.
“I feel using it out of our palms is most likely the right issue to do and, and that was finished with a perspective to consider and glimpse soon after the gamers.
“It’s for the persons higher than us to make people selections and for us to to get on with them and take wherever they are.
“Hopefully, someday in the potential we’ll be able to go. I do consider it is significant for them, notably in women’s cricket with what is going on in the location.”
Knight had a lot more urgent issues to look at as well, obtaining found her side’s batting falter once more at Grace Road.
England were being bowled out although batting 1st for the 3rd activity in a row, this time for an under-energy 178, and would have been even worse off ended up it not for Katherine Brunt’s defiant 49 not out from amount nine.
New Zealand chased it down for the decline of seven wickets many thanks to Maddy Green’s confident 70 not out, with Brunt also professing four for 22 in a dropping cause.
“It was not a sport we should have to win, win, to be honest, we ended up just brief with the bat once again,” claimed Knight.
“We confirmed true combat, which is a great high quality to have in this staff. But as a top purchase we’re quite disappointed in that dressing room immediately after not putting jointly a overall.
“We know the expertise we have received in that batting line-up but we’ve got to uncover a way to turn it about rather quickly as a group and acquire some obligation for currently being the ones to make a rating.”
Extra reporting by PA.
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