|100 Metres||9.82||+1.7||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||21 JUN 2014|
|100 Metres||9.74 *||+5.0||Clermont, FL (USA)||31 MAY 2014|
|200 Metres||20.18||+1.9||Fayetteville, AR (USA)||30 MAY 2008|
|4x100 Metres Relay||37.62||Berlin (GER)||22 AUG 2009|
|4x400 Metres Relay||3:05.69||Coral Gables, FL (USA)||10 APR 2010|
|55 Metres||6.35||Gainesville, FL (USA)||25 FEB 2006|
|60 Metres||6.51||Fayetteville, AR (USA)||14 MAR 2008|
|200 Metres||21.30||Albuquerque, NM (USA)||20 JAN 2007|
|100 Metres||9.97||+1.7||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||25 JUN 2016|
|200 Metres||21.74||+1.6||Baton Rouge, LA (USA)||30 APR 2016|
|200 Metres||20.54||+2.1||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||26 JUN 2016|
|4x100 Metres Relay||37.96||Rio de Janeiro (BRA)||18 AUG 2016|
|60 Metres||6.74||Baton Rouge, LA (USA)||13 FEB 2016|
|2016||9.97||+1.7||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||25 JUN 2016|
|2015||10.04||+1.0||Baton Rouge, LA (USA)||18 APR 2015|
|2014||9.82||+1.7||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||21 JUN 2014|
|2013||10.14||-0.2||Moskva (RUS)||10 AUG 2013|
|2012||9.96||+1.4||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||23 JUN 2012|
|2011||9.85||+1.0||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||13 AUG 2011|
|2010||10.01||+0.7||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||26 JUN 2010|
|2009||9.93||+0.9||Berlin (GER)||16 AUG 2009|
|2008||9.89||0.0||Beijing (CHN)||16 AUG 2008|
|2007||10.09||+1.9||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||23 JUN 2007|
|2006||10.27||-0.3||Bacolet (TTO)||24 JUN 2006|
|2005||10.47||+0.7||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||25 JUN 2005|
|2004||10.65||+1.0||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||05 JUN 2004|
|2016||21.74||+1.6||Baton Rouge, LA (USA)||30 APR 2016|
|2014||20.81||+1.4||Coral Gables, FL (USA)||12 APR 2014|
|2013||21.06||+1.3||Montverde, FL (USA)||08 JUN 2013|
|2012||20.80||+1.8||Walnut (USA)||21 APR 2012|
|2011||20.85||-1.2||Stockholm (SWE)||29 JUL 2011|
|2010||20.37||+1.0||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||27 JUN 2010|
|2009||20.65||+0.1||Tempe, AZ (USA)||11 APR 2009|
|2008||20.18||+1.9||Fayetteville, AR (USA)||30 MAY 2008|
|2007||20.90||0.0||Tempe, AZ (USA)||14 APR 2007|
|2006||21.24||-0.2||Baton Rouge, LA (USA)||22 APR 2006|
|2005||21.73||+1.2||Baton Rouge, LA (USA)||23 APR 2005|
|2016||37.96||Rio de Janeiro (BRA)||18 AUG 2016|
|2015||38.32||Nassau (BAH)||02 MAY 2015|
|2014||37.97||Marrakesh (MAR)||13 SEP 2014|
|2013||38.38||Moskva (RUS)||18 AUG 2013|
|2012||38.10||London (GBR)||10 AUG 2012|
|2011||37.91||Daegu (KOR)||04 SEP 2011|
|2010||38.91||Philadelphia, PA (USA)||24 APR 2010|
|2009||37.62||Berlin (GER)||22 AUG 2009|
|2008||38.00||London (GBR)||26 JUL 2008|
|2007||39.02||Rio de Janeiro (BRA)||27 JUL 2007|
|2006||38.44||Sacramento, CA (USA)||09 JUN 2006|
|2011||3:05.79||Baton Rouge, LA (USA)||26 MAR 2011|
|2010||3:05.69||Coral Gables, FL (USA)||10 APR 2010|
|2005/06||6.35||Gainesville, FL (USA)||25 FEB 2006|
|2015/16||6.74||Baton Rouge, LA (USA)||13 FEB 2016|
|2013/14||6.66||Baton Rouge, LA (USA)||21 FEB 2014|
|2011/12||6.56||Fayetteville, AR (USA)||11 FEB 2012|
|2009/10||6.59||Baton Rouge, LA (USA)||19 FEB 2010|
|2008/09||6.61||Baton Rouge, LA (USA)||06 MAR 2009|
|2007/08||6.51||Fayetteville, AR (USA)||15 MAR 2008|
|2006/07||6.64||Lexington, KY (USA)||25 FEB 2007|
|2005/06||6.73||Baton Rouge, LA (USA)||03 MAR 2006|
|2004/05||6.83||New York, NY (USA)||04 FEB 2005|
|2007/08||21.60||Fayetteville, AR (USA)||16 FEB 2008|
|2006/07||21.30||Albuquerque, NM (USA)||20 JAN 2007|
|2005/06||21.71||New York, NY (USA)||03 FEB 2006|
|1.||4x100 Metres Relay||38.06||Beijing (CHN)||22 AUG 2008|
|2.||4x100 Metres Relay||38.12||London (GBR)||11 AUG 2012|
|2.||100 Metres||9.89||0.0||Beijing (CHN)||16 AUG 2008|
|6.||100 Metres||9.98||+1.5||London (GBR)||05 AUG 2012|
|2.||4x100 Metres Relay||37.62||Berlin (GER)||22 AUG 2009|
|5.||100 Metres||9.93||+0.9||Berlin (GER)||16 AUG 2009|
|6.||4x100 Metres Relay||39.01||Daegu (KOR)||04 SEP 2011|
|7.||4x100 Metres Relay||38.57||Moskva (RUS)||18 AUG 2013|
|2.||4x100 Metres Relay||38.04||Nassau (BAH)||25 MAY 2014|
|1.||4x100 Metres Relay||37.97||Marrakesh (MAR)||13 SEP 2014|
|8.||100 Metres||10.24||-0.1||Marrakesh (MAR)||13 SEP 2014|
|1.||100 Metres||10.02||-0.6||Oslo (NOR)||11 JUN 2014|
|1.||4x100 Metres Relay||38.23||London (GBR)||14 JUL 2012|
|1.||100 Metres||9.89||+2.4||New York, NY (USA)||12 JUN 2010|
|3.||4x100 Metres Relay||38.10||Glasgow (GBR)||02 AUG 2014|
|1.||100 Metres||9.97||+1.7||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||25 JUN 2016|
|1.||100 Metres||9.82||+1.7||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||21 JUN 2014|
|1.||100 Metres||9.85||+1.0||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||13 AUG 2011|
|1.||200 Metres||20.37||+1.0||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||27 JUN 2010|
|1.||100 Metres||10.01||+0.7||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||26 JUN 2010|
|1.||100 Metres||10.01||+0.5||Port-of-Spain (TTO)||19 JUN 2009|
|1.||100 Metres||10.12||-0.5||Des Moines, IA (USA)||13 JUN 2008|
|1.||4x100 Metres Relay||38.42||Des Moines, IA (USA)||13 JUN 2008|
|1.||4x100 Metres Relay||38.44||Sacramento, CA (USA)||09 JUN 2006|
|13 FEB 2016||Baton Rouge LSU High Performance Meet||USA||F||H1||1.||6.82|
|13 FEB 2016||Baton Rouge LSU High Performance Meet||USA||F||F||2.||6.74|
|07 MAY 2016||Austin Longhorn Invitational||USA||F||F1||2.||10.21||+3.2|
|14 MAY 2016||Baie Mahault Meeting International Guadeloupe||FRA||C||F||7.||10.37||+0.3|
|29 MAY 2016||Atlanta Georgia Relays||USA||F||H1||1.||10.23||+1.7|
|29 MAY 2016||Atlanta Georgia Relays||USA||F||F1||1.||10.08||+1.4|
|24 JUN 2016||Port-of-Spain Trinidad & Tobago Ch.||TTO||B||H10||1.||10.25||+0.3|
|25 JUN 2016||Port-of-Spain Trinidad & Tobago Ch.||TTO||B||SF3||1.||10.16||+0.8|
|25 JUN 2016||Port-of-Spain Trinidad & Tobago Ch.||TTO||B||F2||1.||9.97||+1.7|
|22 JUL 2016||London Müller Anniversary Games||GBR||GL||H2||8.||10.26||+0.3|
|13 AUG 2016||Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games||BRA||OW||H7||6.||10.29||-0.4|
|30 APR 2016||Baton Rouge LSU Invitational||USA||F||F3||4.||21.74||+1.6|
|07 MAY 2016||Austin Longhorn Invitational||USA||F||F1||4.||20.98||+3.9|
|11 JUN 2016||Montverde Star Athletics Pro Meet||USA||F||F3||2.||20.84||+2.2|
|26 JUN 2016||Port-of-Spain Trinidad & Tobago Ch.||TTO||B||SF1||1.||20.70||+2.8|
|26 JUN 2016||Port-of-Spain Trinidad & Tobago Ch.||TTO||B||F2||2.||20.54||+2.1|
|18 AUG 2016||Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games||BRA||OW||H2||3.||37.96|
|19 AUG 2016||Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games||BRA||OW||F||DQ|
Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.
Updated 11 September 2014
Richard THOMPSON, Trinidad and Tobago (100m/200m/4x100m Relay)
Born: 7 June, 1985, Cascade, Trinidad
Coach: Dennis Shaver
Manager: Emanuel Hudson
Nicknamed “Torpedo Thompson”, and silver medallist behind Usain Bolt’s 100 metres World record at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Richard Thompson is now the fastest Trinidadian sprinter in history, moving ahead of quadruple Olympic medallist Ato Boldon. And therein lies a story.
On August 13, 2011, Thompson completed a hat-trick of men’s 100 metres titles at Trinidad and Tobago’s National Championships with a blazing 9.85 seconds run. The scorcher broke Boldon’s 13-year-old record of 9.86, and catapulted Thompson into the top-ten all-time list.
But Thompson was not an outstanding teenage sprinter and didn’t make it either to World Youth or World Junior Championships. It was not until 2006, at the age of 21, that he represented Trinidad and Tobago for the first time and it was a barely noteworthy debut, as he finished fifth (10.42) in the 100 metres at the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) U23 Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
However, in 2007, Thompson stepped up and won the NACAC senior title (10.33), in San Salvador, El Salvador, having already that season taken a big chunk off his PB with a 10.09 run in the semi-final round at the National Championships in Port of Spain. But, carrying an injury into the World Championships in Osaka, six weeks after San Salvador, he finished eighth in his quarter final (10.44).
However, 2008 would prove a brilliant year for Thompson. It began indoors, as the Louisiana State University (LSU) student won the NCAA 60 metres title in Fayetteville and shared the fastest time of the season (6.51) with Nigeria’s Olusoji Fasuba. Outdoors, in June, he added the NCAA 100 metres gold medal (10.12) in Des Moines, Iowa, as a precursor to his second place (9.89) behind Bolt (9.69) in Beijing. Prior to 2008, Thompson had never broken 10 seconds.
Thompson’s performance was witnessed in the Bird’s Nest Stadium not only by his parents, Ruthven and Judith, but also by several members of his family.
“All of my uncles on Mum’s side were there, some of my aunts, my brother was there,” Thompson said. “My uncle (Ronald Clarke) was there to throw the Trinidad and Tobago flag to me after I had got the silver medal. They were prepared and afterwards he called out to me and he threw me the flag that I made my victory lap with.”
It was a time which only Boldon (9.86) had beaten among compatriots. Boldon, the 2000 Olympic 100 metres runner-up and 1997 World 200 metres champion, had made a lasting impression upon Thompson from the day that his hero visited his school.
“He has definitely been an inspiration,” Thompson said. “There’s a funny story which I reminded him of, and which he remembered, but he didn’t remember me being the person involved. We went to the same primary school (Newtown RC Primary) and, just like I went into the school and talked to the youngsters after the Olympics, he did the same thing when I was in primary school. He came into the school to talk to us, and he came to my class in particular. My teacher told him I was the fastest boy in the school at the time and he was like: ‘Really? Well, when I was at Newtown RC School I was the fastest boy here, so now I take my crown and I pass it on to you.’ And he took his imaginary crown from his head and put it on my head.
“He was Ato Boldon so obviously I remembered it and he remembered doing that but he didn’t remember me being the person – I didn’t expect him to. But, when I told him, he just laughed about it and said: ‘Yeah, I remember doing that but I don’t remember you being the person.’
“In terms of advice I remember that, during the indoor season, he sent me a message on Facebook and he told me that he believed that I would run sub-10 outdoors, that he believed that I could win a medal in the Olympics, and that he would give me advice on things that he did before the Olympic Games, how he got himself prepared mentally. And, while we were in the Olympic village, I asked what he was doing the day before – if he was up and about, moving around, or if he was relaxing in his bed. I took some of his advice and was able to do the same thing while in Beijing.”
Thompson was 10 when Boldon visited his school.
“It just felt like a huge honour to know that he was the champ while he was in Newtown and now he was taking his crown and passing it on to me. He was in such a rush that day, too, because he had to go round to all the classes and he couldn’t sign autographs for everyone – you are talking about a school with maybe 800 people. But, because my teacher had called me up to meet him personally, I was able to ask him for an autograph. He gave me his autograph and I still have it to this day – I stuck it up on a wall in my room.”
Now, the imaginary crown has been passed on.
“I have given it to a youngster by the name of Jeffrey Parker,” Thompson said.
Going into the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Thompson found himself in a similar situation to that which Boldon was in – with one man dominating the 100 metres. In Boldon’s day it was Maurice Greene, the triple World champion, 2000 Olympics gold medallist and former World Record holder.
“I think Usain’s dominance is more prominent than Maurice’s because Usain is just making it look absolutely easy and effortless every time he runs,” Thompson said. “He’s just so far ahead of everyone else. He’s making 9.8s/9.7s look like a breeze. Maurice at least had days that he would run 9.9/10.0, which wasn’t too far off what everyone else was running.
“But, in terms of accomplishments Maurice Greene is by far the best sprinter of all time. If you look at how many World Championships titles he has, from world titles to World Records - he had the World indoor record, he had the World Championship title indoors, he had the World Championship titles outdoors, Olympic titles, Olympic records, World Championship records – he did it all. Usain will get there.”
So Thompson’s not going to stop him?
“It’s a nice thought but he’s so far ahead right now.”
Which makes Thompson sound like he is training to be the world’s second best 100 metres runner.
“You have to train to be the best,” Thompson said. “You don’t train to be second best. I don’t think anyone who trains has that in mind but sometimes you have to be realistic and you look at someone’s ability, talent and work ethic and so far, in terms of natural ability, there isn’t anyone else out there like Usain Bolt. So, it’s going to be hard to perform to the same level as someone like that. It is not that I want to be the second best, or the third best, or the fourth best, or anything like that – everyone is aiming for the top spot – but, being realistic, Usain is just so far ahead it is going to take a lot of work to get myself to the level that he is at.”
Bolt has gone on to become a living legend, successfully defending his Olympic 100 and 200 titles at the 2012 London Games. The Jamaican sprinter also has five individual senior world titles - two in the 100 and three in the half-lap event.
While Thompson has an impressive collection of relay medals at the Olympics and World Championships, the 100 silver earned in Beijing remains his only item of individual precious metal on the global stage.
Thompson has struggled in recent years with a hip injury. In 2014, however, the injury seems to be behind him. In fact, Thompson won the T&T 100 metres title in June with a 9.82 seconds scorcher, improving on his own national record.
“9.82 was huge for me. After 2013 I wasn't sure to return to sub-10 shape this year, so to show the form I did earlier this season and to be able to get through an entire season healthy is a blessing.”
But there was also disappointment this season, Thompson exiting in the semi-final round at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
“Going out in the semis was obviously very disappointing. I had high expectations for myself, so to come in being the favourite and not make the final was tough. I let down a lot of people.
“2014 was somewhat of a roller coaster ride. A lot of high moments and low as well, but more than anything else it was a learning experience. There were a lot of things to take from the good and bad this year to make me a better athlete. Coach (Dennis) Shaver and I made a few changes this year. Thank God it was a down year so to speak. We know what we need to do to make the next few years more consistent.”
Thompson’s early interest in sport was nourished by a competitive spirit between himself and two friends, Shayne Cooper and Jabari St Rose. Keen on both athletics and football, they would support each other and, as Thompson rose to the top, his friends continued to encourage him.
“Right after the Olympics both of them called me while I was in China to congratulate me and they felt as though they had won the medal too,” Thompson said.
Given his “Torpedo” nickname by the Trinidad Express newspaper in 2007, Thompson said of it: “At first I thought it was a bit corny but it caught on and I actually have it as my nickname on Facebook now.”
On 1 January, 2009, Thompson was injured in a car accident in Trinidad.
“It was serious,” he said. “I was unable to train for a month and I was unable to life weights for a month and a half to two months.
“I was going up one street and this guy was coming across and he collided with the front of my car which spun it around and I ran straight into a wall. The front of the car was completely damaged. I don’t remember anything at the time because I was unconscious for about seven minutes – but there was a girl in the car with me (Monique Cabral, a sprinter from Trinidad) – she is at LSU as well - and she said that, when she went into the ambulance, the guy was like ‘when we arrived on the scene and we saw the car we thought for sure that the people in the car would be dead’.
“I got whiplash and cuts and bruises on my knee, my lower back, my neck, my upper back as well. Sometimes I still wake up in the morning and feel back and neck pains.”
So when Bolt had his car crash in May 2009, overturning his BMW into a ditch, Thompson was especially sympathetic.
“I sent a message asking if he was okay and, at the same time, I was wondering if there was a blight on the Olympic 100 metres medallists,” he said.
Thompson’s 2009 vehicular accident is now a distant memory. More than five years have passed, and the “Torpedo” is preparing for his IAAF Continental Cup debut, in Marrakech, Morocco, where he will be on show in the men’s 100m and 4x100m events.
“I've taken part in every major competition apart from the Continental Cup, and it's an honour to now be part of this team too and be teammates with legends like Kim Collins. It's very late in the season and I'm just going to have as much fun as I can and give my best.
“This will be my last meet. Both the 100 and 4x100 are on Saturday, so I'm finished for the year after that. It would be great to end on a high note. However, regardless of this weekend's outcome, I know the work I have cut out for 2015. The main thing is to finish healthy, so that I start my off season well ahead of where I did last year coming into this season.”
100m: 9.82 (2014)
200m: 20.18 (2008)
100/200m: 2004: 10.65; 2005: 10.66, 10.61w/21.73; 2006:10.27, 10.26w/21.24; 2007: 10.09, 9.95w/20.90; 2008: 9.89/20.18; 2009: 9.93/20.65; 2010: 10.01, 9.89w/20.37; 2011: 9.85/20.85; 2012: 9.96/20.80; 2013: 10.14/21.06; 2014: 9.82/20.81
** NACAC Under-23 Championships (Santo Domingo)
** NACAC Under-23 Championships (Santo Domingo)
** NACAC Championships (San Salvador)
** NACAC Championships (San Salvador)
*CAC Championships (Cali)
Olympic Games (Beijing)
Olympic Games (Beijing)
World Championships (Berlin)
World Championships (Berlin)
World Championships (Daegu)
Olympic Games (London)
Olympic Games (London)
World Championships (Moscow)
World Relays (Nassau)
Commonwealth Games (Glasgow)
* CAC = Central American & Caribbean
**NACAC = North America, Central America & Caribbean
Prepared by David Powell and Kwame Laurence for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2014