KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica's newest 100-meter national champion sent a message after his victory, insisting he was slowing down 60 meters into a race where he ran the fastest time in the world in two years.

Kishane Thompson won Jamaica's 100-meter national championship in 9.77 seconds Friday night, setting himself up as a threat to join his country's greatest sprinter, Usain Bolt, as an Olympic champion next month.

“My coach instructed me to just run the first 60, nothing more,” the 22-year-old Thompson said after winning in his first appearance of the year. “After that I should just shut it down. If I came in second or third, I make the team. The goal wasn’t to do anything, just to run a 70 or 60 and see where I am at.”

Thompson said this was his first time running rounds. He posted a 9.82 in his opening heat on Thursday night and said he was up late with doping control officers.

Thompson beat Oblique Seville, a semifinalist at the Tokyo Olympics who notched a win over Noah Lyles earlier this year.

Thompson's time of 9.77 was the fastest since American Fred Kerley won the 2022 world championships in 9.76 seconds. Thompson is now the fourth-fastest Jamaican in history, behind Bolt, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell.

“I am not sure how fast I can go, but the time did not surprise me tonight,” he said.

Bolt's world record has stood at 9.58 seconds since 2009.

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