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Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 7:03pm
Former UTEP track star and Olympic veteran Obadele Thompson has been chosen as one of four individuals to be inducted to the 2011 Drake Relays Hall of Fame.
“I’m excited and humbled to be inducted into The Drake Relays Hall of Fame,” Thompson said. “When I consider all the great athletes that have participated at The Drake Relays through the years it is indeed a huge honor. I’d like to thank UTEP for giving me the privilege of competing at The Drake Relays during my entire collegiate career.”
Thompson becomes the second UTEP representative to be inducted into the illustrious hall of fame and the first to be chosen as an athlete. Retired head coach Bob Kitchens was entered into selective group of track and field legends in 1996.
Thompson, a three-time Olympian, claimed four NCAA titles, 11 All-American certificates and won 16 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) titles at UTEP from 1993-97. He captured the bronze medal in the 100 at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and was fourth in the 200 at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. He won the 200-meter special invitational as a collegian in 1996 and then as a professional in 1998.
As sophomore at UTEP, he beat eight-time Olympic champion Carl Lewis to win the special invitational 100 by 0.13 seconds during the 1995 Drake Relays. He came back as junior to win the special 200 in 1996 as well as anchoring UTEP to victory in university division 4x100 relay in 1997. Additionally, he won the special invitational 200 at the 1996 and 1998 Drake Relays.
Thompson finished third in the 100 at the 2000 Olympics and fourth in the 200 at the 1996 Olympics. He won both the 100 and 200 at 1998 NCAA Outdoor Championships as well as claiming the 200 at the 1996 and 1997 NCAA Indoor Championships. He held numerous world rankings during his career, including; ranking No. 3 in the world in both 100 and 200 in 2000; No. 5 in the world in the 100 and No. 6 in the world in 200 in 1999; No. 6 in the world in 100 in 1998; No. 4 in the world in 200 in 1997 and No. 5 in the world in 200 in 1996.