Boldon, Thompson part company
Following his disappointing showing at the Olympic Games in Rio in August, the year-long relationship between sprinter Richard Thompson and his coach Ato Boldon, has apparently come to an end.
Thompson, 31, was eliminated during the preliminary round of the 100 metres in Rio, finishing sixth in Heat 7 in 10.29s, well off his personal best of 9.82.
Boldon, 42, a three-time Olympic bronze medalist, now a commentator and coach, began coaching Thompson, the 2008 Olympics 100-metre silver medallist, in August 2015.
The sprinter was trying to revive his career that had gone south after he won the silver medal in the 100m in 2008 in a race won by Usain Bolt in 9.69 seconds.
But following his failed comeback bid in Rio, Thompson has decided that it was time to move on from the Boldon’s camp that includes rising sprinter Khalifa St Fort.
“Richard and I had a lengthy discussion,” said Boldon, during an interview on the Morning Brew show in Trinidad and Tobago.
“Richard and I have been friends for a long time and I have been his mentor for some time. He just feels like he has to move on.”
Boldon, who over the past year also had Trinidadian Kelly-Ann Baptiste and spent time working with American quarter-miler Natasha Hastings in his camp, said Thompson’s decision to move on was based primarily on the amount of time, he (Boldon) was spending with St Fort.
Boldon has been working with the young sprinter for just over a year, during which time she has won medals at both the World Youth and World Junior Championships.
She was fourth at the Trinidad and Tobago championships, but was a member of the country’s sprint relay team that was fifth in Rio.
“I think we were honest about how much attention Khalifa gets in the camp,” Boldon admitted.
“He felt that some time this year my focus was so much on Khalifa that everybody else took a back seat. Richard will continue to run, how much longer, I don’t know, but he and I will not be working together but we remain friends, obviously.”