Holmes to give it his best shot
Katarina Johnson-Thompson's coach believes solving the 20-year-old's shot put troubles will turn her into one of the world's best heptathletes.
The Liverpool athlete battled to a brave fifth place at the World Championships in Moscow on Tuesday night, racking up a personal best 6449 points and finishing just 28 off bronze.
Four PBs out of the seven events, including a massive one in a gruelling 800m which coach Mike Holmes named as his highlight and left Johnson-Thompson's throat still painful and hoarse this morning, demonstrated her vast potential.
"Kat's prized asset is digging in somewhere that a lot of people haven't got. It's a bit special," Holmes said.
Only a desperate shot of 11.52m - the throw was ranked 31st of 33 competitors - prevented the athlete dubbed the next Jessica Ennis-Hill from taking a global medal.
Holmes said: "As a shot coach - I was national event coach for shot once upon a time and I threw it for 40 years - I think I should probably sack myself to be honest. It's been a five-year project that hasn't worked out.
"We are actually beginning to make some progress. She had a foul in the first round and that put her on her edge, but I can see progress.
"It has to be because at the moment she is as good as anyone over five events but it's a seven-event event.
"We have focused really hard on strength this winter and in some respects she's a very strong girl. I have pictures of her with 300 kilos on her back, half squats.
"They are terrifying, but they have not translated through.
"Her body doesn't quite get what the event requires, but it's up to me to use my initiative and come up with different ways of approaching the problem. We are trying, believe me."
Ennis-Hill worked hard to improve her shot and javelin in order to become Olympic champion, the javelin letting her down in 2011 when she lost her world title.
And Holmes knows small improvements can make a telling difference.
"It's never going to be the strongest and in the shot you actually peak at 33, but we can't wait 13 years so we have to somehow accelerate it," he said.
"She's thrown 13m in training. If we can get mid-13m we can claw back a lot."
Certainly her improvement over all seven events over the last two years has been dramatic, from 5787 in 2011 to 6267 last year to 6449 this.
Holmes knows that margin of progress will be impossible to sustain.
"As long as we go forward," he said. "She's got time. She's only 20."
Next up for Johnson-Thompson is preparation for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next summer, with the European Championships in Zurich less than two weeks later not on her agenda.
Before all that, though, it is a well-earned holiday in Mexico.