Katarina Johnson-Thompson reflects on her pentathlon gold at Glasgow 2019

2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships - Day One

It was a golden start for the British team at the European Athletics Indoor Championships.

On a partisan opening day at Glasgow's Emirates Arena, only three gold medals were on the line but Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Laura Muir ensured that two ribbons remained on British shores.

The UK has a proud history of multi-eventing female athletes and Johnson-Thompson is at the forefront of that drive, hoovering up gold medals after a watershed 2018.

She joked in the moments after winning the gold medal of her success in the shot put. The Montpellier-based athlete threw an outright personal best of 13.15 metres, ensuring she retained the gold bib she often loses at that stage.

In fact, Johnson-Thompson was performing so brilliantly after the third round that the world-record was in her sights. 

Personal best in the shot put

Speaking to GiveMeSport, she remarked: "I've never been in the lead before after the shot put, I've never got to keep the gold bib after the shot, usually they give it to me after the high jump and then I give it back to them after the shot put."

The pentathlon is an exhausting day for athletes - throwing five events at the competitors in a matter of hours - and Johnson-Thompson is relishing a break ahead of the outdoor season.

The 26-year-old said through a laugh: "It feels great, it feels great that it's over!

"It's been a big day physically and mentally, but I'm glad that I've finished and I've got the gold medal, that's what I came her to get. I'm very happy."

2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships - Day One

The Glasgow 2019 atmosphere

One of the major themes of the opening day was the Glasgow atmosphere, something that Muir would go on to benefit from in the final event of the day.

But that camaraderie certainly percolated to the British athletes south of the border with Johnson-Thompson receiving a rapturous reception through which she had to maintain her focus.

"It all happens so quickly, it's one of my longest races but it goes in a flash, so I'm happy that I was able to keep my concentration," she explained afterwards.

"I've probably only got another three 800 metres before Tokyo, so my coach just said: 'let's go for it and see where you're at.' It's not very difficult but it's harder to run 800 metres indoors, so 2:09 is a decent time for me.

"I'm really happy with my indoors, I was happy that I was able to peak at the right time. I'd showed glimpses of good performances and I'm happy that I was able to put it all together when it mattered and to switch mentality for the major championship. So, I've definitely learned stuff going forward."

Success for Niamh Emerson

However, for all of the Johnson-Thompson brilliance, it would be criminal to ignore the performance of Niamh Emerson who collected the silver medal in remarkable fashion.

At just the age of 19, Emerson romped her way to a clean sweep of five personal bests and amongst all praise for her display, the words of Johnson-Thompson will resonate the most.

With the mention of Emerson's name producing a smile, she remarked: "I was made up for her!

"I really really believe in her as an athlete and to see her come away with five personal bests was incredible. She's definitely an athlete to be looking out for."


And as for the 'what next?' for Johnson-Thompson: "I'm going to have two weeks off and then decide!" We can't blame you, Kat.

Who was your star performer from day one in Glasgow? Have your say in the comments section below.

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