KJT's story so far
Katarina was born in Liverpool on January 9th, 1993 to Ricardo and Tracey from the Bahamas and the UK respectively. With her father hailing from Nassau, Kat spent her early years on the island before moving back to Liverpool, the town that she grew up in and now proudly calls home.
Despite a family history in ballet and dancing, her mum was a dancer, Kat always had her eyes set on sport. As a youngster she spent a lot of time on the football field and it wasn’t until a chance introduction to the high jump at a school sports day that the athletics seed was planted. On her first, untrained, outing she broke the school high jump record and was immediately connected with the Liverpool Harriers Athletics Club. At the tender age of 10 years old the club welcomed her with open arms and helped nurture and refine her talents.
As a Liverpool Harrier Kat’s indecisiveness flourished as she won multiple national titles across a number of disciplines, for a youngster with so many talents there was only one path… multi-events.
It was in the heptathlon that Kat found her home and, under the guidance of coach Mike Holmes, her progress was quickly recognised, and she was added to the National Lottery World Class Performance Program at the tender age of 15. Kat justified this selection by securing the gold medal in the heptathlon at the the 2009 World Youth Championships in Brixen, Italy. This was Kat’s first major honour on the world stage and a sign of things to come.
Kat's promise continued to deliver through the age groups and in 2012 she won a World Junior gold medal in the long jump in Barcelona. This was swiftly followed by her Olympic debut at the London 2012 Olympics. Senior multi-event success wasn’t far behind and having finished the 2014 season ranked world number 1 in the heptathlon Kat went on to break the 5,000-point mark in the pentathlon, the modified indoor version of the heptathlon, to win the gold medal at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Prague. Kat reaffirmed her knack for the indoor version of the event by winning a World Indoor title in Birmingham in 2018 and another European Indoor title in Glasgow in 2019.
Since her Olympic debut at the home Games Kat’s outdoor career has continued to develop. After making her second Olympic appearance, finishing 6th at the Rio Olympics in 2016, Katarina made the decision to move to Montpellier, France to join a group under the guidance of multi-event specialist coach Bertrand Valcin. After a period of transition Kat found her feet within the acclaimed group, containing Decathlon world record holder Kevin Mayer, and has since begun to reap the rewards of her decision. Indoor success has been accompanied by a Commonwealth Games gold medal and a European Championships silver medal in 2018 as well as a new personal best of 6813 points achieved at the Gotzis Hypomeeting in May of this year. As recently as October KJT achieved one of her career goals in Doha, Qatar, when she became the World Champion Heptathlete for the first time. As well as winning the gold medal she set event PB's in 4 individual events on her way to an all-around PB and British Record of 6981!
Away from the track Kat does her best to come back to the UK whenever her busy schedule allows. Her time at home is split between her family and friends in Liverpool and her interests away from the athletics arena. Having walked in the Off-White show at the Paris Fashion week in 2018 and won the Sportsperson of the Year award at the 2019 Stylist Magazine Remarkable Women Awards, Kat occupies the rarefied space between sport and culture and hopes to blaze a trail for young women looking to follow in her footsteps.
All signs are pointing in the right direction for Kat and the next 12 months will be an exciting period for her with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games fast approaching. Be sure to follow Kat’s social media channels for updates on her training, competitions and interests away from athletics.