Richard ‘Torpedo’ Thompson set to retire at year’s end


TORPEDO OUT: TT’s men’s Olympic 4x100m team, from left, Akanni Hislop, Eric Harrison, Richard “Torpedo” Thompson (who will retire at the end of this year), Kion Benjamin and Adell Colthrust. Missing is Jonathan Farinha. PHOTO COURTESY NIC-CONNOR ALEXANDER –


THREE-time Olympic medallist Richard “Torpedo” Thompson will retire from pro sprinting at the end of this year.

The four-time Olympian made this announcement via a post to his Facebook page on Wednesday.

Thompson is at the Tokyo Games as TT’s most experienced men’s 4x100m relay team member. Joining him in the squad are Adell Colthrust, Akanni Hislop, Kion Benjamin, Eric Harrison and Jonathan Farinha.

In his post, the 2008 men’s 4x100m relay gold medallist passed the proverbial baton on to his younger countrymen who are with him in Japan.

Partnered with a picture on a sprint track of himself, at centre, flanked by Benjamin, Hislop, Colthrust and Harrison, Thompson paid an early tribute to the nation’s future stars.

“(I’m) honoured to lead this young squad on to the biggest stage of their lives. It’s been so cool learning from each other during the pre-Olympic camp and I’m grateful that they’ve allowed the ‘old man’ (Kion literally calls me this) to fit in seamlessly to the new culture, while instilling values from a foundation that has allowed TT to be a global force in sprinting,” Thompson posted.

“I’m excited about what the future holds for this group and I encourage u (you) to follow their journey, as they will be flying the (TT) flag for a long time after I hang my spikes up this year.”

Thompson also credited athletic trainer Jason Dunavant and (@ulmtfxc) for “making us feel right at home” in Japan. The men’s 4x100m team begin their qualification campaign on August 5.

At the 2008 Beijing Games, the 23-year-old sprinted to silver behind legend Usain Bolt in the men’s 100m final.

He then anchored the men’s 4x100m relay team (with Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender and Marc Burns) to Olympic silver, behind Jamaica once more, at the same games.

However, in 2017, one of Jamaica’s 2008 4x100m relay winning sprinters, Nesta Carter, was retroactively sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee for doping and the entire team was stripped of their medals. TT was then upgraded to Olympic gold.

Additionally, at the 2012 Games in London, the same relay quartet sprinted to 4x100m silver once more. There, Thompson also placed sixth in the men’s 100m final. He is also a five-time national champion.

The 36-year old sprinter holds the national 100m record of 9.82 seconds and has a personal best of 20.18 seconds in the 200m.

He earned silver for TT in the men’s 4x100m relay at the 2009 World Championships and gold in the same event at the World Continental Cup in 2014. Thompson was also part of the 4x100m team that sprinted to silver in the IAAF World Relays in 2014.

Thompson has also captured three IAAF Diamond League gold medals: 4x100m relay (2012) and 100m (2010 and 2014). He also helped the TT relay team to bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Heading into next week’s opening relay heats, Thompson also said to his final Olympic team-mates, “Let’s go out and give everything we have for this country fellas. Already proud of y’all. @thy_kingkanni @elhj__ @iamkionbenjii @adellcolthrust @jonnyboss20.”

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