media_artricles :: 2016
TORPEDO TARGETS RELAY, LONDONKwame Laurence :: Trinidad Express :: 14.08.2016
Richard "Torpedo" Thompson plans to return to the World Championship stage in London, England, next year, after missing the 2015 edition through injury.
Thompson was not a happy man, following his Olympic Games men's 100 metres first round heat, at the Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium, here in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Saturday. He finished a disappointing sixth in 10.29 seconds, and was eliminated. But the Trinidad and Tobago track star plans to put that setback behind him, and focus on the Rio 2016 sprint relay.
The qualifying round of the men's 4x100 metres event takes place on Thursday morning, with the final scheduled for Friday, at 9.35pm (T&T time). Thompson will focus his 2017 energies on the IAAF World Championships, which will be staged in London between August 4 and 13.
But the 31-year-old sprinter told the Express there is a question mark over his participation at another Olympics. Tokyo, Japan will host the 2020 Games. "Definitely World Championships next year. But as far as Tokyo goes, that's very questionable. I don't know if I want to continue that long anymore. I have a family, and I just want to move ahead in my life. But definitely a shot at London next year, and who knows what will happen after that."
Earlier this year, Thompson got married to former athlete Monique Cabral. They have a young son, Rhys, and another son on the way. Not satisfied with his performances on the track in recent years, Thompson moved from Louisiana to Florida late last year, and is now coached by T&T's most prolific Olympian, four-time medallist Ato Boldon.
"The last couple of years have been extremely disappointing for me. I've tried so hard, and every year I have a glimpse of hope at one or two meets. But the consistency hasn't been where I want it to be, and it's just frustrating. I spend a lot of money, I put in a lot of time and effort, and then to not get the results is disappointing."
Thompson is a triple Olympic silver medallist. The highpoint of his career came at the 2008 Beijing Games, where he finished second to Usain Bolt in the men's 100m final and then anchored T&T to second spot, behind Bolt's Jamaica, in the 4x100m relay.
Four years later, at the London Games, anchorman Thompson was the fourth man across the line in the sprint relay final. The Canadians, however, were disqualified for a lane violation, and the T&T combination of Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Thompson were promoted to the bronze medal position. They were subsequently upgraded to silver after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped United States because of Tyson Gay's doping violation.
There is now the possibility that the same T&T quartet could have the Beijing 2008 silver upgraded to gold, following the revelation that Jamaican Nesta Carter failed a retrospective drug test.
"There are a lot of things about the sport that I don't like," Thompson lamented. "It's just unfair when you work so hard, and you come in, and you're automatically and instantly at a disadvantage."
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OFF AND RUNNING: Britain's James Dasaolu, from left, Jamaica's Usain Bolt and Trinidad and Tobago's Richard Thompson, start in heat seven of the Men's 100-metres qualifiying rounds at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Saturday. Bolt won in 10.07 to advance to the semi-final phase while Thompson finished sixth in 10.29 and failed to advance. --Photo: AP