Team England gold medallist and world champion heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson has said she is “super excited” to compete in front of crowds at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and to return to the city that she’s competed in so many times before.

Speaking to 22 Voices, a podcast series from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Johnson-Thompson says returning to the Alexander Stadium is going to be special:

“It’s got a lot of history for me and it’s just perfect that the Commonwealth Games will be there next year. I’m super excited to have crowds back in athletics, excited for normality and a home games and to have fans. It’s just going to be great, I can’t wait.”

The heptathlete who won gold at the Gold Coast 2018 Games describes regular trips to Birmingham as a junior and senior athlete:

“It’s definitely where I started my career. My first English Schools (competition) was in Birmingham, me and my Mum used to go to the AAAs (Amateur Athletics Association) Under 15 championships at the NIA. We used to get the National Express (coach) up and I used to do the high jump. Both of those stadiums (Alexander Stadium and the NIA) hold a lot of memories for me growing up, it’s my actual childhood.”

In 2018, Katarina Johnson-Thompson also won World Indoor gold in the pentathlon at Birmingham’s NIA and says it was a “magical” time:

“One of my favourite memories is the World Indoor Athletics Championships (in 2018) which was such a magical weekend. It snowed and snowed and snowed, my family almost didn’t make it, my friends almost crashed the car because the snow was that thick, and on the Monday it was just all clear so it did feel like absolute magic. To compete in the world championships at a home stadium was just so good for me.”

The 2019 world champion also touched on the achilles injury she picked up at the end of last year, and says her recovery is going well:

“My recovery is going really well. I’m gutted that it’s not the way I wanted to start a new year, but I’m remaining positive and I’m in a good place right now. I’m progressing really fast and I’m happy that all things are set in place for the outdoor season.”

You can hear the full interview on the 22 Voices Podcast at