Saturday, January 20, 2018


Thompson wins in Netherlands in 9.95


Richard ‘Torpedo’ Thompson

Mark Fraser

It’s confirmed. The Torpedo is back!

Triple Olympic medallist Richard “Torpedo” Thompson erased any doubts about his current form with a 9.95 seconds men’s 100 metres sizzler at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games, in Hengelo, Netherlands, yesterday.

The impressive run earned Thompson victory at the IAAF World Challenge meet, the Trinidad and Tobago track star getting to the line just ahead of Great Britain’s Chijindu Ujah, the runner-up in a personal best 9.96. St Kitts and Nevis sprinter Jason Rogers clocked 10.06 to bag bronze.

Two Saturdays ago, Thompson won in Clermont, Florida in 9.74 seconds—his fastest clocking in any conditions. However, the wind gauge malfunctioned and the time could not be recognised as wind-legal.

Thompson later told the Express that the following wind during the race was definitely above the 2.0 metres per second legal limit. But windy or not, he was very satisfied with the run.

“My legs are back!”

The 9.95 Hengelo clocking--produced with a 1.4 metres per second wind at his back—was Thompson’s fastest legal run since 2011, the year he established his 9.85 seconds national record.

“I’m just giving thanks and praise to God for protecting me and keeping me healthy. After my anchor leg in the Bahamas (World Relays), I knew I was in sub-10 shape. I really had to calm my anxiety since then because I knew once I got a race with the right conditions that I would do it.”

Thompson, who turned 29 last Saturday, is joint-third on the 2014 world performance list, with Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut and Norway’s Jaysuma Saidy Ndure. The only men who have run faster than 9.95 this season are American world-leader Justin Gatlin (9.87) and Jamaican Kemarley Brown (9.93).

“I have my eyes set on doing well at Commonwealth Games,” said Thompson, “but obviously the first step is to come home and qualify. The season is still relatively young and we know the big guns will show up ready when it’s time, so I still have a lot of work to put in to be ready to roll with them.

“Things are definitely heading in the right direction for me and I’m grateful. I think there’s still a lot of room to improve this season,” he ended, “so I will continue to work and stay hungry.”