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Decathlon, heptathlon world champions out of Tokyo Games

After suffering an injury in the 200 meters portion of the heptathlon, Katarina Johnson-Thompson refused to be helped off the track before crossing the finish line.

TOKYO, Japan — The world champions of the decathlon and heptathlon are out of Olympic medal contention after breaking down during their last races of the day.

Heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson injured her right calf muscle as she rounded the bend in the 200 meters, the fourth event of the competition. About an hour later, decathlon world champion Niklas Kaul of Germany appeared to injure an ankle during the 400-meter race, the fifth of 10 disciplines, and did not finish.

Damian Warner of Canada leads at the halfway point of the decathlon with 4,722 points, 81 ahead of Australia’s Ash Moloney.

Johnson-Thompson slowed to a stop at the top of the straight and sat on the track before waving away medical attendants who went to her assistance — including one pushing a wheelchair. She got up and limped across the finish line but was disqualified for stepping out of her lane. Her preparation was hampered by a series of injuries, including her left Achilles tendon.

Johnson-Thompson had been in fifth place after the 100-meter hurdles, high jump and long jump.

Credit: AP
Katarina Johnson-Thompson, of Britain, reacts after falling during a heat in the heptathlon women's 200-meter at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

With three events to go, 2017 world championship bronze medalist Anouk Vetter of the Netherlands leads with 3,968 points. She is 27 points clear of Noor Vidts of Belgium and 47 ahead of defending Olympic champion Nafissatou Thiam.

Credit: AP
Katarina Johnson-Thompson, of Britain, finishes a heat of the heptathlon women's 200-meter at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

In other track and field news, Andre De Grasse powered past a pair of Americans — Kenny Bednarek and the favorite, Noah Lyles — to finish the men's 200 meters in 19.62 seconds and take one of the titles that Usain Bolt had owned for the last three Olympics. 

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