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Katarina Johnson-Thompson to take part in long jump at Stockholm Diamond League

Katarina Johnson-Thompson

British heptathlon Katarina Johnson-Thompson is set to partake in Sunday’s innovative long-jump competition at the Stockholm Diamond League.

The heptathlon world champion will look extend her run when she takes on other top jumpers.

This time, the top three jumpers after five rounds will contest a one-jump final, unlike previously when the event was decided by the best effort from six rounds.

Johnson-Thompson will compete against Olympic champion Caterine Ibarguen and world silver medallist Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk.

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Jemma Reekie will also compete in a high-class 800m field against World Championships silver medallist Raevyn Rogers.

Ugandan world champion Halimah Nakaayi will, however, not be part of the contest due to Coronavirus restrictions.

While Diamond League chief executive Petr Stastny is backing the new format for the Diamond League, most athletes believe it’s a mess.

“This format is likely to reward athletes who have the ability to perform under the most intense pressure,” Stastny said.

“We think it will bring more drama to the field events as nothing will be decided until the very last performance.”

Olympic long jump champion Tianna Bartoletta had a contrary view, saying: “It’s not innovation but it is a mess.”

“They are sacrificing the athlete and their effort for the hope that a spectator is going to care about that moment of drama, when the entire long jump competition is dramatic.

“There are lead changes, different narratives and if the announcers at the meeting did a better job of relaying that to the spectators, we wouldn’t have to do these gimmick type things,” she added.

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