Former 400m champ Thompson retires

April 18, 2016
Oral Thompson

Former national 400-metre champion Oral Thompson has hung up his spikes after a track and field career sprinkled with high points and disappointments.

An untimely injury led the former University of Technology, Swept Track Club and Cameron Blazers runner to take the tough decision.

The final straw came just before the 2015 National Senior Championships.

"Three days before nationals, I was in training and got a small hamstring strain," he said recently.

"So I just decided to call it quits because it was three years since I was on and off with injury and I decided to just hang up my spikes."

His promising 2015 build-up had included a win over 200 metres at the UTech Classic.

"It was a tough decision but, you know, having a coach like Bert Cameron and teammates like Marvin Anderson and Jermaine Gonzales, they actually made me know that everything is going to be alright," said the 33-year-old.

Now a massage therapist who serves the Blazers, the St James native had some big moments in his career. One came in 2003, when the University of Technology won its first Championship of America honour at the Penn Relays in the College 4x200m.

Though he ran at the Commonwealth Games, Central America and Caribbean Championships and CAC Games, Thompson pinpointed his 2010 National Championship win as the highlight of his career.

"That was the biggest moment for me because a lot of people thought I couldn't have done it, but the coach (Okeile Stewart) had so much confidence in me. He just said, 'Go out there, have fun and you'll get what you want'."

Thompson said he may run Masters events in the future.

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