Decathlon great Daley Thompson believes that if heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson has the right mindset this summer she can be one of the stars of the IAAF World Championships in London.
The 24-year-old had been among the medal favourites for the Rio Olympics last summer but placed sixth, a year after suffering disappointment at the Beijing World Championships where three fouls in the long jump ended her medal hopes.
She parted ways with her long-time coach Mike Holmes after Rio and has since moved to train in France. In her sole competition so far this year, Johnson-Thompson was being advised by French coach Bertrand Valcin at the British Championships in Sheffield before she withdrew from the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham due to hamstring strain.
“I think for a year or so she has stalled a bit in the heptathlon but her individual events are fantastic,” said two-time Olympic decathlon gold medallist Thompson.
“I’m really hoping that now she has gone to France she’s in a good place physically and mentally.
“If she comes back from France in a good frame of mind and in good physical shape, she can be the best in the world,” he added.
“As long as the people that she is training with are able to get her in that good frame of mind, then she can be one of the stars of London 2017.”
Thompson has recently been announced as one of the ambassadors of Bridgestone’s ‘Chase Your Dream, No Matter What’ campaign as the world’s largest tyre and rubber company revealed the UK activation of its Worldwide Olympic Partnership.
The campaign aims to encourage people of all ages, abilities and passions to find the strength to chase their dream and overcome the obstacles they face on life’s journey and Thompson said: “My upbringing and sporting career have taught me that if I work hard enough and remain focused, then I can achieve my goals.
“I would like to think that I’m a living testament to the ‘Chase Your Dream, No Matter What’ philosophy.”