Chris Thompson secured his spot for the delayed Tokyo Olympics at the British Marathon Trials on Friday, clocking a time of 2:10:50.
There has been great interest in the shoes the 39-year-old, On-sponsored athlete was wearing
Chris Thompson, who turns 40 next month, won the men’s event at the British Olympic Marathon Trials at Kew Gardens on Friday, with a new PB of 2:10:50 – 40 seconds inside the Olympic qualifying time.
Since the race, a lot of attention has turned to the shoes the On-sponsored athlete had on his feet, which appeared to be a blacked-out version of the Nike Vaporfly Next% running shoes, which contain a carbon-fibre plate and the brand's Zoom X foam.
Thompson opted to do the same at last year's Vitality Big Half Marathon.
Speaking to Telegraph Sport, an On spokeswoman said, 'While the prototype of our latest pioneering long-distance running shoe has been in development to give our athletes elevated performance, it has taken our research and development team a little longer than expected to perfect. This can often be the case when producing the next generation product line.
'Chris therefore had to compete in an alternative running shoe that isn’t our own that still enabled him to perform in the latest generation shoes, while On is getting ready to launch the newest generation of its patented CloudTec system.
'At On, we care about our athletes first and foremost. We believe an Olympic dream should never be compromised for any reason, which is why we have helped Chris to the best of our ability in pursuing a temporary solution that put him in pole position for his quest towards an Olympic qualification.'
The 39-year-old athlete appeared overjoyed when crossing the finish line, and said afterwards, 'This week has just knocked me for six. I have been trying to hold it together and I have just never felt so much emotion in all my life and I have always controlled it. I just said don’t cramp on that last lap, because everything fell into place in the last couple of laps. After 30mins I released, I worked the course out and worked out you can’t keep pushing like this, the turns and everything was just building up and I thought I need to check back because these guys need to be in really good shape to keep this going. I checked back and I just thought, an hour and a half, I have either messed this up royally or its going to turn around very quickly. I kept saying to myself, stay on course for the time and see what happens. I was in dreamland, the last to laps I was like "I am going", nothing is stopping me now.
'This sounds bad but I knew I had it with 2 laps to go, and I was starting to control my emotions then because I knew I had timed it right. I entered my own little mind palace of ‘this is just the rhythm I need for me’. If they stay gone, then good luck to them, just execute my own race and the other thing I kept telling myself, was just stay inside the time and you still have a chance. To be honest at one-point, worst case scenario, if you are the third brit with the time, you still have got a chance. Or fourth brit, because I think three ahead, but they came back to me very quickly once the pacemakers dropped out. I was running on cloud nine, the last two laps just…I feel like someone’s going to tell me this didn’t happen. Seriously, I am 39! This doesn’t happen, last night my wife said "finish it off" and in my head I thought I am going to leave everything out there. I thought if we pull this off, I don’t know how we have done it. This is not like me.
'My new baby is called Theo and he has a lot to live up to. He has got a two-time Olympian dad!'
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