Chris Thompson, British marathon runner and silver medalist who turns 40 this year, has found double reasons to celebrate. For one, he welcomed his first child a few weeks ago, and second, he finished within qualifying time at the GB Marathon trials alongside Stephanie Davis to bag a coveted spot at the Tokyo Olympics.
Expressing extreme joy, Thompson admitted that the win couldn't have come at a better time, given that he's already going through one of the most emotional phases of his life. His feelings were evident with how he burst out as he crossed the finish line, yelling at the top of his voice with his fists clenched tight. Davis, who ran her first marathon in 2018, was elated at the win too.
A look at both players’ wins
Chris Thompson is known for setting records and breaking them despite all his injuries and personal troubles. At the trials, too, he not just used his stamina and speed to his advantage but also his sheer determination.
Thirty minutes into the race, he was ahead of the others, then an hour later, he'd slowed down, giving the impression of having messed up. But then in the last two laps, the finish line was all that he saw. He finished the course at Kew Gardens in 2:10:40, well within the qualifying time.
Coming to Stephanie Davis, born on August 27, 1990, she’s already made notable success in women’s long-distance running, and this win will culminate in her international debut at the Tokyo Olympics. An employee at a finance company, Davis qualified for the marathon after winning the British Olympic trial event. She is the only woman at the GB Marathon trials to finish within the qualifying time.
Who were the runners-up?
In order to make it through to Tokyo, the runners had to finish within the top two positions, along with having beaten the standard Olympic qualifying times after January 2019. According to those criteria, Ben Connor, another British runner who set the qualifying benchmark in an earlier race, also made it to Tokyo since he finished second.
Other notable mentions who couldn’t qualify included Natasha Cockram, who finished in second place after Davis, but could not hit the qualifying time. Rosie Edwards came in third, but she too, didn’t land within the qualifying timelines. So from the perspective of women racers, two spots are empty on the British team for the time being.
Quick peek at the men’s 20km walk
In terms of the men's 20km walk, Tom Bosworth was beaten by Callum Wilkinson who finished in 1:22:47. However, even after coming first, he couldn’t make the qualifying time of 1:21:00, which is why he won’t be seen in Tokyo. Bosworth, however, even after coming in second, will go to Tokyo since he beat the qualifying time at a previous race. What luck!