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Richard Thompson (sprinter)

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Richard Thompson
Thompson at the 2012 Olympic Games
Personal information
NationalityTrinidad and Tobago
Born (1985-06-07) 7 June 1985 (age 39)[1]
Cascade, Trinidad & Tobago[1][2]
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Weight80 kg (180 lb)[1]
Event(s)100 metres, 200 metres
College teamLSU Tigers
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing  Trinidad & Tobago
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2008 Beijing 4×100 m relay
Silver medal – second place 2008 Beijing 100 m
Silver medal – second place 2012 London 4×100 m relay
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 2009 Berlin 4×100 m relay
NACAC Championships
Gold medal – first place 2007 San Salvador 100 m
Bronze medal – third place 2007 San Salvador 4×100 m relay
CAC Championships
Gold medal – first place 2008 Cali 4×100 m relay
Commonwealth Games
Bronze medal – third place 2014 Glasgow 4×100 m relay
IAAF World Relays
Silver medal – second place 2014 Nassau 4×100 m relay

Richard "Torpedo" Thompson (born 7 June 1985)[3] is a sprinter from Trinidad and Tobago who specializes in the 100 metres. His personal best of 9.82 seconds, set in June 2014, was one of the top ten fastest of all time, and a national record.[4][5] In the 200 meters, he has the fourth fastest time by a Trinidad and Tobago athlete.[6]

Thompson studied at Louisiana State University (LSU) and broke the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) indoor 60 metres record in 2008, his final season of collegiate athletics.[7][8]

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Thompson was the silver medalist in the 100 meters, running a then personal best of 9.89 seconds, and the gold medalist in the 4x100 meters relay along with Emmanuel Callender, Keston Bledman and Marc Burns.[9] He also won the silver medal in the 4x100 meters at the 2012 Olympics with the same team he competed in the 2008 Olympics with.[10][11][12] Also in the 2012 Olympics, he finished 6th following the disqualification of Tyson Gay in the final of the 100 meters. Thompson is a five time Trinidad and Tobago national champion.[13][14] His current personal best of 9.82 was set at the 2014 Trinidad and Tobago national championships.[15]

In 2017, fellow sprinter and 2008 Olympic Games men's relay gold medalist Nesta Carter was sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee for doping at the 2008 event, retroactively awarding the Trinidad and Tobago team which included Thompson Olympic Gold.

Early life


Born on 7 June 1985 in Cascade, Port of Spain, Thompson is the last of four children of Ruthven and Judith Thompson.[16] He attended Queen's Royal College in Port of Spain where he was coached by Ashwin Creed.[17][18] He competed at the 2004 Hampton Games running a time of 10.65 in the 100 meters.[17]

Amateur career


He ran for Louisiana State University as a member of the LSU Tigers track and field team and set NCAA Indoor record in the 60 metres in 2008. That year he won the NCAA Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year Award and the SEC Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year award.[19]

Professional career


In his first World Championships in Athletics in Osaka in 2007, Thompson reached the second round but finished eighth in a time of 10.44 seconds. His personal best time is 9.89 seconds, achieved in August 2008 in Beijing, China, during the Olympic 100 m final where he won silver.[20] Thompson's personal best for the 200 metres is 20.18 s which ran in Fayetteville for LSU. His 60 metres best is 6.51 s, achieved in March 2008 in Fayetteville. He won the relay gold medal at the 2008 Central American and Caribbean Championships with Trinidad and Tobago.

In the 2008 Summer Olympics, he competed in the 100 m sprint and placed first in his heat ahead of Martial Mbandjock with a time of 10.24 s. He qualified for the second round, beating Tyson Gay and Mbandjock, with a winning time of 9.99 s. He qualified in the semi-finals with a time of 9.93 s, finishing second to Asafa Powell. In the final, he finished in second place; he was far behind winner Usain Bolt (9.69 s) but his time of 9.89 s was enough to win the silver medal and set a new personal best. His new best time made him the second fastest Trinidadian 100 m sprinter ever, after Ato Boldon.[21]

Together with Keston Bledman, Aaron Armstrong and Marc Burns he also competed at the 4 x 100 metres relay. In their qualification heat, they placed first in front of Japan, the Netherlands and Brazil. Their time of 38.26 s was the fastest of all sixteen teams participating in the first round and they qualified for the final. Armstrong was replaced by Emmanuel Callender for the final race and they sprinted to a time of 38.06 s, the second time after the Jamaican team, winning the silver medal. In 2022, Thompson and his teammates received the gold medal due to Jamaica's Nesta Carter testing positive for the prohibited substance methylhexaneamine.[22]

Thompson was involved in a car accident on 1 January 2009, resulting in minor injuries which caused him to miss the indoor athletics season.[23] He competed at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics and reached the 100 m final, finishing in fifth place with a season's best of 9.93 seconds in fastest ever race at that point in time. He teamed up with fellow finalist Marc Burns for the relay and ran a national record time of 37.62 seconds to finish as runners-up behind the Jamaican team.[24]

He achieved a 100/200 m double at the 2010 national championships.[25] His season was highlighted by a win on the 2010 IAAF Diamond League circuit, taking the 100 m at the Prefontaine Classic with a wind-assisted time of 9.89 seconds.[26] In August, Thompson broke the national record with a run of 9.85 s at the 2011 national championships. The achievement, which ranked him ninth fastest in all-time lists, eclipsed Ato Boldon's record by 0.01 seconds.[27] Despite this form, he failed to make the 100 m final at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, being eliminated in the semis, although he did anchor the relay team to fifth place in the final.

At the 2012 national championships, he had his win streak beaten by Keston Bledman and had to settle for second with his time of 9.96 seconds.[28]

In the 2012, 100m Olympic final, he gained the distinction of becoming the first man to break ten seconds and finish in seventh place. However, upon the disqualification of Tyson Gay due to doping, Thompson was promoted to sixth place.

During the 2014 national championships, he won the finals, improving the national record with a run of 9.82 s, becoming one of the 10 fastest 100 m runners ever.[29]

Major competition record

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Trinidad and Tobago
2006 NACAC U-23 Championships Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 5th 100m 10.42 (wind: +1.2 m/s)
200m DQ
3rd 4 × 100 m relay 39.98
2007 NACAC Championships San Salvador, El Salvador 1st 100 m 10.32
3rd 4×100 m relay 39.92
Pan American Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 4th (h) 4×100 m relay 39.02
World Championships Osaka, Japan 31st (h) 100 m 10.44
2008 Central American and Caribbean Championships Cali, Colombia 1st 4×100 m relay 38.54
Olympic Games Beijing, China 2nd 100 m 9.89
1st 4×100 m relay 38.06
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 5th 100 m 9.93
2nd 4×100 m relay 37.62
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 10th (sf) 100 m 10.20
6th 4×100 m relay 39.01
2012 Olympic Games London, England 7th 100 m 9.98
3rd 4×100 m relay 38.12
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland sf 100 m 10.19
3rd 4×100 m relay 38.10
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 40th (h) 100 m 10.29
6th (h) 4 × 100 m relay 37.961
2021 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan 13th (h) 4 × 100 m relay 38.63

1Disqualified in the final

Personal bests

Date Event Venue Time (seconds)
15 March 2008 60 metres Fayetteville, United States 6.51
21 June 2014 100 metres Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 9.82
30 May 2008 200 metres Fayetteville, United States 20.18
  • 60 m and 200 m taken from IAAF profile[30]
  • 100 m taken from NAAA TT Website[31]




  1. ^ a b c d "Richard Thompson". Olympedia.org. OlyMADmen. Retrieved 12 November 2022.
  2. ^ "LSU Profile of Richard Thompson". Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Richard Thompson IAAF profile". IAAF. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  4. ^ "IAAF 100 M men ranking". IAAF. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Trinidad & Tobago national records in athletics". TTNAA. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  6. ^ "IAAF 200 M men ranking". IAAF. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  7. ^ "LSU biography of Richard Thompson". Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  8. ^ "NCAA Records" (PDF). 12 August 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 January 2014.
  9. ^ "2008 Olympics 100 M final results (men)". Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Olympic Results - Mens 4 x 100 meters relay". London 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  11. ^ "2012 Olympics - Men's 4x100 m final result". IAAF. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  12. ^ "London 2012 4x100m relay men Results - Olympic athletics".
  13. ^ "Trinidad and Tobago championships results (200 M)". Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  14. ^ "Trinidad and Tobago championships results (100 M)". Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  15. ^ Laurence, Kwame. "Thompson and Ahye run world-leading 100M times at Trinidad and Tobago Championships". IAAF. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  16. ^ Ince, Basil (16 July 2012). "Thompson bolts to silver". Trinidad Express. Trinidad Express. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  17. ^ a b "TTNAAA biography of Richard Thompson". TTNAAA. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  18. ^ "LSU biography of Richard Thompson". LSU.
  19. ^ "Glasgow 2014 - Richard Thompson Profile". g2014results.thecgf.com. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  20. ^ Mickles, Sheldon (18 May 2008). Thompson wins SEC 100M men's track title. 2theadvocate.com. Retrieved on 2009-01-26.
  21. ^ "100 Metres All Time". IAAF. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  22. ^ "Medal reallocation in action: Trinidad and Tobago get men's 4x100m relay gold from Beijing 2008". International Olympic Committee. 5 July 2022. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  23. ^ Richard Thompson speaks after the accident. Trinidad and Tobago Guardian (10 January 2009). Retrieved on 2009-01-26.
  24. ^ Mulkeen, Jon (22 August 2010). Event Report – Men's 4x100 m Relay – Final. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-01-27.
  25. ^ Laurence, Kwame (28 June 2010). Thompson scores double at Trinidad & Tobago champs. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-01-27.
  26. ^ Hooker second in New York. ABC (13 June 2010). Retrieved on 2011-01-27.
  27. ^ Jad Adrian (August 2011). Richard Thompson 100 m 9.85s (+1.0) Video. www.adriansprints.com. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
  28. ^ Lawrence, Kwame (25 June 2012). Bledman wins Trinidad and Tobago title in 9.86. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-07-09.
  29. ^ "Thompson and Ahye run world-leading 100 m times at Trinidad And Tobago Championships".
  30. ^ Profile: Thompson Richard. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-01-26.
  31. ^ NAAATT Events & Results 2011 – Sagicor/NAAA Open Championships – Men 100 Meter Dash. NAAA. Retrieved on 2011-08-13.