Kishane Thompson overcomes late night, doping control, and intense competition to become one of the fastest men of all times

By June 29, 2024

Newly crowned Jamaican 100m champion Kishane Thompson faced numerous obstacles before delivering an astounding performance at the Jamaican National Championships on Friday night.

Despite a late night on Thursday, incomplete post-race recovery, and an extended session with doping control officers, Thompson surged to win his semi-final in 9.84 seconds and then stunned the athletics world with a world-leading 9.77 seconds in the final, securing his place at the Paris Olympics this summer.

Thompson’s extraordinary journey to the title began with an impressive semi-final run that set the stage for the final. His remarkable 9.77 in the final not only booked his ticket to Paris but also made him the fourth fastest Jamaican in history, behind legends Usain Bolt (9.58) Yohan Blake (9,69), and Asafa Powell (9.72), and the ninth fastest ever globally.

After his incredible performance, Thompson opened up about the challenges he faced. Following his heats on Thursday night, in which he clocked 9.82, he was singled out for a drug test, causing a significant delay in his post-race recovery.

"Apparently, they came to do a drug test, and we were saying it’s just the heats. We could understand if it’s after the finals, but they said ‘No,’ I hadn’t run from season and I opened with such a fast time in the heats, so they said it looks suspicious," Thompson explained. He eventually got home after 1 am on Friday, severely impacting his rest and recovery.

 Thompson's coach, Steven Francis, acknowledged the difficult circumstances before the final, suggesting it might not be the anticipated clash between Thompson and pre-race favourite Oblique Seville. However, Thompson defied the odds and his coach's expectations, delivering a scintillating performance in the final. Seville finished second in a lifetime best of 9.82 seconds, while Ackeem Blake took third in 9.92 seconds.

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Reflecting on his experience running three rounds, Thompson said, “It’s feeling tired-good, not tired-bad. It’s not something that I can’t manage, something that I expected, and it’s the first I am actually doing rounds, so I am really satisfied.”

In the final, Thompson followed his coach’s instructions to run the first 60m hard and then shut it down.

“My coach Steven Francis, he instructed me to just run the first 60, nothing more. After that I should just shut it down. If I came second of third, I make the team. The goal wasn’t to do anything, just to run a 70 or 60m and see where I am at.

“Honestly, I have a lot to improve on physically and mentally. I was playing catch up of some sort and I was trying to adjust and go at the same time. It’s kind of all new to me but I am getting it slowly. We have some technicalities to work on, my transition, snapping down, my turnovers, my reaction and just staying fit and healthy. I am not sure how fast I can go but the time did not surprise me tonight.”

Despite the challenges, Thompson remains optimistic about his future, especially with the lessons learned from his first experience running rounds. “I didn’t know how to conserve. I tried it in the first two rounds but one, I nearly fell, and two, I just didn’t know how to apply myself with that speed because I’ve never done rounds,” he admitted.

Looking ahead to the Paris Olympics, Thompson is eager and confident. “It is really a great and humble feeling. I saw the 2008 Olympics and it set my standard in this sport. From there I knew that I wanted it, so it is a really good feeling,” he shared.



Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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