SIZZLER: Richard “Torpedo” Thompson stands next to the clock, following his record-breaking 9.82 seconds run at the NGC/Sagicor National Open Track & Field Championships, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, last Saturday. –Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY

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NINTH FASTEST!

‘Torpedo’ Thompson bolts into top-ten

By Kwame Laurence kwame.laurence@trinidadexpress.com

Richard “Torpedo” Thompson is the ninth fastest man in history!

Before last Saturday’s 9.82 seconds golden run at the NGC/Sagicor National Open Track & Field Championships, Thompson was joint-11th on the all-time global list with Americans Leroy Burrell and Mike Rodgers and Nigeria’s Olusoji Fasuba. All four sprinters had a personal best of 9.85 seconds.

But Thompson chopped three-hundredths of a second off of his Trinidad and Tobago record to move to the top of the 2014 world performance list and, at the same time, jump into the top ten all-time, leapfrogging Canadians Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin, who are now joint-tenth at 9.84.

Jamaican Usain Bolt is at the top of the list with the 9.58 seconds world record run he produced to strike gold at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany.

American Tyson Gay and Jamaican Yohan Blake are joint-second at 9.69. Two more Jamaicans, Asafa Powell and Nesta Carter are fourth and fifth, respectively, at 9.72 and 9.78. Americans Maurice Greene and Justin Gatlin are joint-sixth at 9.79. And eighth spot is occupied by Jamaican Steve Mullings (9.80).

T&T sprinters, Ato Boldon and Keston Bledman are joint-15th on the all-time world list at 9.86 seconds. They share that spot with American Carl Lewis, Namibian Frankie Fredericks and Portugal’s Francis Obikwelu.

After his record-breaking run, Thompson told the Express that 9.82 seconds was not a clocking he had in mind at the beginning of 2014.

“It was completely off of my radar at the start of the season. The goal was just to be healthy again, to overcome the (hip) injury. I did an interview (with the Express) at the start of the year, and I said it would be nice to just get under 10 seconds again. And here I am with the national record. God is really great, and he blesses those who put themselves in a position to be blessed. This is the hardest I’ve worked, probably ever in my life. I’ve been the most disciplined, and I’m just glad for today’s result.”
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