Disappointment on the World Championships in 2015 and the Rio Olympics in 2016 — during which she was anticipated to land a podium however got here away with nothing — prompted her to vary coach, uprooting her life in Liverpool and transferring to France.
Extra World Championship disappointment was to comply with in 2017 as Johnson-Thompson — nicknamed KJT — underperformed within the excessive leap, one in every of her strongest occasions, to complete in fifth place total.
On Thursday, all of these painful reminiscences melted away to create space for a brand new joyous one, as she was topped heptalthon world champion in Doha and broke the British file within the course of.
“Everybody’s received their journey,” she stated after securing gold. “It isn’t been very simple for me. It isn’t been simple for me. I needed to transfer coach. I needed to transfer nation, I needed to study a brand new language and settle in. I tore all the pieces up and began once more and it is labored.
“The final two world championships have been heartbreaking for my mum and I. Mid-heptathlon, I’ve gone again to my resort and cried and cried for hours when issues have gone badly.
“It was after the excessive leap in London in 2017 and after the lengthy leap in 2015 in Beijing. These have been the low factors of my profession. Rio Olympics, as effectively. I’ve had quite a lot of unhealthy years. I am simply so comfortable that I got here out in entrance for a change.”
Johnson-Thompson amassed 6,981 factors over the course of the two-day heptathlon occasion, beating Jessica Ennis-Hill’s British file which was set when she received gold at London 2012.
In fact, few had anticipated Johnson-Thompson to get the higher of long-time rival Nafi Thiam; coming into Doha, the Belgian was undefeated for the reason that 2016 European Championships.
However the 26-year-old Briton produced 4 private bests to blow the competitors away and edge ever nearer to her lifelong objective of breaking the 7,000-point mark.
Her eventual margin of victory over silver medalist Thiam was 304 factors, the most important at a World Championships since 1987, although the Belgian gave the impression to be troubled by an elbow harm through the javelin.
“It does not make sense to me truthfully,” Johnson-Thompson informed the BBC. “These complete two days, as a result of they have been so quick and it has been at nighttime, have really felt like a dream with the lights and all the pieces.
“It has been unbelievable and I am unable to consider that is the end result. There have simply been so many makes an attempt of attempting to carry out on this stage and I am simply so, so comfortable. I could not have completed it with out them [the disappointments].
“The low moments have helped me come again and make the transfer [to France], attempt to look inside myself. This has been my dream, 7,000 factors I’ve spoken about previously as one in every of my predominant profession objectives.
“She [Thiam] is an outstanding athlete and she or he’s set the usual, I witnessed 7,000 factors first by her and she or he’s the one who has made that doable and has made requirement in an effort to win.
“She’s positively raised the bar and I am simply glad I have been in a position to comply with and step up.”