After 9.77 Kishane says he was focused on execution not fast times

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Despite scorching the track in a world-leading 9.77 seconds to win the men’s 100-metre final at the Jamaica Olympic trials at the National Stadium on Friday night, Kishane Thompson says he was not focused on running fast times.

Rather, Thompson, who at the moment is the fastest man in the world heading into next month’s Paris Olympics, says his aim was to execute a proper race. He said this was important because in previous seasons he has suffered from injuries that affected his execution.

At last year’s national trials to select the team for the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Thompson showed great promise in his heat, running a big personal best time of 9.91. However, it proved to be a cameo appearance at the championships, as he did not show up for the semifinals.

“The time wasn’t the aim. My aim was always to execute,” said the Stephen Francis-coached athlete. “My first couple of seasons, even though I’ve always suffered from injuries, I really struggled with execution. Even though I have raw speed and talent, I wasn’t patient enough.”

The 22-year-old set tongues wagging in the heats on Thursday with a new personal best of 9.82 seconds. He then cruised to a 9.84 semifinal win, setting up an exciting final showdown against the favorite, Oblique Seville, who ran 9.83 in the other semifinal. But Seville proved no match for Thompson, who powered away from the field at the midway mark and even had the luxury of slowing down to glance at the clock. The 9.77 was also a stadium record and a new personal best.

The performance is also the fastest in the world since 2022 and it moves Thompson to joint ninth on the world all-time list. He is also the fourth fastest Jamaican, behind Usain Bolt (9.58), Yohan Blake (9.69), and Asafa Powell (9.72).

Seville claimed second in 9.82, matching his personal best, while Ackeem Blake finished third in 9.92. Seville, who was fourth at the 2023 World Championships, was clocking 9.82 for the second time at the National Stadium this month. He also did so at the Racers Grand Prix on June 1 to defeat reigning world champion Noah Lyles of the USA. Lyles won the U.S. Olympic trials 100m in 9.83 seconds last Sunday in Eugene, Oregon, tying his personal best time.

When asked if he wanted to send a message to Noah Lyles, who had commented that he hoped the Jamaican stayed healthy after his impressive 9.82 personal best in the heats, Thompson responded, “He said that? I have nothing to say, honestly.”

Meanwhile, Thompson was subjected to drug testing that went on into the early hours of Friday morning after his opening run on Thursday. His upset coach noted that Thompson was the only one of the 16 semifinalists subjected to drug testing.

“They (the drug testing officials) were saying it’s just the heats and I hadn’t run from [the start] of the season and I opened my season with a fast time so dem a say it look suspicious,” Thompson said.

Thompson further added that he’s now getting used to running the rounds, admitting that it is difficult for him to control his speed at times. Frighteningly for the other men who will line up beside him in Paris, Thompson said, “Stephen Francis, my coach, instructed me just to run the first 60 (metres), after that, shut it down. If I came second or third, I made the team.”