Grace Allen 'so proud' as son Kishane Thompson becomes national champion and the fastest man in 2024

By July 05, 2024

Grace Allen could not contain her joy as her son, Kishane Thompson, clinched victory at the Jamaica National Championships at Kingston's National Stadium on Friday night. Allen's pride and happiness were palpable as she reflected on her son's journey from a small-town athlete to a national champion.

Thompson, who turns 23 later this month, won the blue-riband sprint in a world-leading 9.77s, Oblique Seville finishing second in 9.82 and Ackeem Blake third in 9.92. Thompson’s winning time was the third-fastest-ever run inside Kingston’s National Stadium. Yohan Blake’s 9.75 run in 2012 and Usain Bolt’s 9.76 set in 2008 are the only times faster than the one set by Thompson, who is now tied as the ninth fastest man in history.

It was an accomplishment that left his mother beaming with pride. After his historic run, Thompson hurried to the warm-up area outside the stadium and after thanking his coach Stephen Francis, passionately embraced his mom in a show of love and gratitude.

“Oh, I am so elated. I am so proud of my son. He deserves it,” Allen said with a broad smile. “I was always looking forward to this because I know he is someone who really concentrates on what he is doing; he puts his all into it.”

Kishane Thompson, affectionately known as "Bigga," grew up in Mitchell Town, a community that always believed in his potential. Born at Lionel Town Hospital, Thompson showed early signs of athletic talent, racing ahead of his peers at Mitchell Town Basic School. “He always loved to run, he always came first on sports day,” Allen recalled with a laugh. “I used to do high jump at school at Mitchell Town Primary. I think he got the genes from me.”

Kishane attended Bustamante High School before being recruited to Garvey Maceo High School by then-principal Orett Wallace. Under the guidance of coaches Kirk Beckford, Oliver Heywood, and the legendary Neville Myton, Thompson honed his skills and became a standout athlete. In high school, he competed in the 100m, 200m, 4x400m, and 4x100m relays.

In 2019, Myton, a middle-distance legend, saw something special in Thompson, likening him to the great US sprinter Bob Hayes. Nicknamed "Bullet Bob," Hayes was an American sprinter and professional football player. After winning gold medals at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where he tied the then-world record in the 100m with a time of 10.06 seconds, Hayes played as a split end in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys for 11 seasons. Hayes is the only athlete to win both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring. Myton predicted that Thompson would become one of Jamaica’s greatest sprinters.

That same year, Thompson won the 100m at Central Champs with a time of 10.59 seconds. Despite battling shin splints, he entered the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships (Champs) with a time of 10.47 seconds but unfortunately, he clocked a painful 43 seconds in his preliminary round. His rival, Oblique Seville, won the final in 10.36 seconds.

He also competed in the 200m, running 21.5 seconds in the heats but did not advance to the finals, which were won by Xavier Nairne in 20.81 seconds.

At the Penn Relays, Thompson anchored Garvey Maceo’s 4x100m team, leading them to a time of 43.16 seconds.

Allen, reflecting on her son's journey, expressed immense pride not just for herself but for the entire community of Mitchell Town. “All of Mitchell Town would be proud. I am sure they are.”

As Thompson's career continues to soar, his mother dreams of even greater accomplishments. “If he came back home with an Olympic gold medal? Oh my God! I would be so proud of him. I would be so elated.”

Thompson, who has a twin brother, has always had the support of his family and community. Now, as a national champion, he stands as a testament to hard work, dedication, and the power of dreams. His journey from Mitchell Town to the national stage is not just a personal triumph but an inspiration to young athletes across Jamaica.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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