'Everyone is absolutely gutted for Kat', said London 2012 long jump champion Greg Rutherford as Katarina Johnson-Thompson's Olympic heptathlon gold medal dream at Tokyo 2020 was ended by a calf injury.
Britain's world champion, who recovered from rupturing her Achilles tendon in December in time to compete at the Games, dramatically pulled up in the 200m. After laying down on the track, distraught, she rejected the offer of a wheelchair, picked herself up to finish the race, jogging over the line - but was disqualified for stepping outside of her lane.
Johnson-Thompson had her right leg heavily strapped and she initially hopped on her left leg and then finished down the home straight with her right foot turned out, before she was embraced by other heptathletes.
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British Athletics has confirmed she suffered a right calf injury and that she has had to withdraw from the heptathlon.
The fact that she made the Olympic Games is remarkable," said Rutherford, who was watching at the Olympic Stadium for Eurosport.
"It shows medical science has moved on leaps and bounds to help athletes, that was the sort of injury that would end careers not so long ago. She was determined to give it her absolute all, but it wasn’t to be.
"I was having conversations with people after she’d done her morning sessions and you could see there were a few issues there, she looked like she was limping a bit off of the high jump.
Everybody is absolutely gutted for Kat. It’s just another blow in what’s been a very difficult championships for Team GB in track and field. We have one medal so far, we lost Dina Asher-Smith, we’ve lost Adam Gemili who would also have been in the relay which affects that medal. She is an incredible athlete but she isn’t able to give it her all because of the injury.
"I think we should all be incredibly proud of what she’s done here. She’s gone against the odds, she’s proven that she can to a level, it’s just not good enough from the point of view of the Olympic Games".
Rutherford says it is the latest in a list of struggles that Johnson-Thompson has had to deal with throughout her career: "She's stayed unbelievably positive through all of them, including massive injuries like what she’s had. The fact that she’s here is out of this world.
"Everybody here’s gutted, there’s other members of the British media here, when it happened, everybody’s heads went into their hands. You feel so incredibly sorry for her. We’re wishing her the absolute best."
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