She may have lost a couple of hundred points in the high jump, but Katarina Johnson-Thompson came back fighting in the 200m in a bid to revive her chances of a heptathlon medal.
Drawn in the fourth and fastest of the 200m heats, the Briton was roared on by the crowd from the moment she shot out of the blocks. The volume increased as Johnson-Thompson’s lead grew and she went on to cross the line in 22.88.
Her time was just 0.02 shy of the championship record set by Dafne Schippers in 2013, just two years before the Dutch athlete went on to win the individual world title in the event. It also moved Johnson-Thompson from 13th to fourth overall at the end of the first day.
“I’ve got to put it (the high jump) behind me,” said Johnson-Thompson. “The crowd pushed me to a good time in the 200m; the noise is immense.”
At the top of the table, Carolin Schafer turned the pressure up another notch on heptathlon leader Nafissatou Thiam by taking the overall lead going into the second day. The German clocked 23.58 to Thiam’s 24.57 as the pair ended the day with scores of 4036 and 4014 respectively.
Both are slightly down on their day-one scores from Gotzis earlier this year. Thiam has the bigger reserves on which to draw for tomorrow’s three disciplines, but she will have to be close to her best in all of them to keep Schafer at bay.
“I’m very happy with my first day, especially as I came into this in bad shape,” said Schafer. “I’m looking forward to the next three events.”
Yorgelis Rodriguez and Anouk Vetter remained in the medal picture after clocking 24.42 and 24.36 respectively to end the day in third and fifth overall.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF