Richard “Torpedo” Thompson started his sprinting career at Louisiana State University (LSU) while on a scholarship. As a member of the LSU Tigers track and field team, he lowered the NCAA Indoor record in the 60 metres in 2008. In his first World Championships in Athletics, in Osaka in 2007, Thompson failed to make it past the quarterfinals, placing eighth in 10.44 seconds. The following year, Thompson achieved his best moment up to then by taking both the 60m indoor and outdoor sprints at the NCAA Championships. He expanded his portfolio to include the 200m that year and ran his personal best (pb) for the 200m of 20.18s. His 60m pb is 6.51s achieved in Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, “Torpedo” sped to a pb time of 9.89 s in the men’s 100m, to finish second behind World record holder, Usain Bolt, who set the Olympic record of 9.69. His new pb time made him the second fastest T&T 100m sprinter ever, after four-time Olympic medallist Ato Boldon. Thompson grabbed his second silver medal in Beijing when   teaming up with Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender for the men’s 4x100m relay final. The local team finished in 38.06 behind Jamaica (37.10). With the substitution of sprinter Aaron Armstrong for Callender, that team also grabbed gold at the 2008  Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships in a time of 38.54.

In 2009, Thompson was involved in a car accident on New Year’s Day, resulting in minor injuries which caused him to miss the indoor season. Defying the odds, he competed at the 12th IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Berlin, Germany, later in August. He reached the 100m final, finishing fifth, with a season’s best of 9.93 seconds. Thompson then joined forces with Darrel Brown, Burns and Callender in the final to finish second behind  Jamaica in 37.62s to set the national record. In 2010 Thompson was crowned double champion at the NAAA/Sagicor National Track and Field Championships, taking the 100m (10.01) and 200m (20.37). His 2010 season was further highlighted at the IAAF Diamond League circuit, when he won the 100m at the Prefontaine Classic with a wind-assisted time of 9.89s. In 2011, Thompson broke into T&T’s history books when he ran 9.85s in the 100m final at the National Championships, erasing the previous 9.86 record set by Ato Boldon. The achievement ranked Richard as the ninth fastest on the all-time list. Thompson has struggled this year. His three-year reign as national 100m champ was halted by Keston Bledman who blazed to the finish line in 9.86. Thompson had to settle for second with a time 9.96s—his first and only 100m sub-ten clocking for the year.
Thompson will be looking to prove that he still has what it takes to mount the podium in the men’s 100m at the London Games.

More Info
DOB: June 7, 1985 (Age 27)
Height: 6' 2" (188 cm)
Weight: 176 lbs (80 kg)
Affiliations: Louisiana State University, USA / HSI, USA
Olympic event(s): 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay
Major Achievements: Olympic Silver Medals (100 and 4 x 100 metres Olympics 2008)
Performance dates in London  
100 metres August 4
200 metres August 7-9