Jamaican sprint legends Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell praise Kishane Thompson's electrifying performances at National Championships

By July 01, 2024

Two of the fastest men in history, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell, have heaped praise on rising star Kishane Thompson following his sensational performances at the Jamaica National Championships on Friday night.

Thompson, who was making his season debut, stunned the athletics world with a series of remarkable times: 9.82 seconds in the preliminaries, 9.84 seconds in the semi-finals, and a jaw-dropping 9.77 seconds in the final, despite trying to slow down towards the end. His efforts secured him a spot at the Paris Olympics and have reignited the hopes of Jamaican sprinting fans.

Blake, the second fastest man of all time with his 9.69 clocking in Lausanne in August 2012, expressed his excitement for Thompson’s future. Blake, who famously ran 9.75 at the 2012 National Championships and 9.69 in Lausanne later that year, sees immense potential in Thompson.

"I think great things are in store for Kishane. That was a big run! I am happy for him and I think he can go all the way and bring Jamaica the gold," Blake said.

Blake's words come with significant weight, given his own storied career. He famously defeated Usain Bolt at the 2012 National Championships and went on to finish second to Bolt at the London Olympics with a time of 9.75 seconds, a performance that remains one of the fastest in history.

Thompson’s performances have not only earned him accolades from legends but have also reignited the passion of Jamaican sprinting fans, who have been longing for a new hero since the retirement of Usain Bolt in 2017 and Powell’s subsequent exit from the track. Severe injuries limited Blake's performance in recent years, but Thompson’s emergence has given fans renewed hope.

In the finals on Friday night, Oblique Seville, who many considered the pre-race favorite, finished second with an impressive 9.82 seconds, while another rising Jamaican sprinter, Ackeem Blake, took third in 9.92 seconds.

Powell, known for his world record-setting runs of 9.77 in Athens in 2005 and 9.74 in Rieti in 2007, also had high praise for Thompson. Powell, who holds the record for the most wind-legal sub-10 second runs, believes Thompson is just getting started.

"Jamaica has been asking for an answer since we retired, and they now have it. Kishane will run faster than 9.77 this year. That’s what I think," Powell stated.

Powell’s confidence in Thompson’s ability to surpass his recent times adds to the anticipation surrounding the young sprinter’s future performances. With his lifetime best of 9.72 and a record 97 wind-legal times under 10 seconds, Powell has set a high standard for Jamaican sprinters, and his endorsement of Thompson signals the arrival of a new era in Jamaican sprinting.

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 SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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