Sheffield sprinter dreaming of Tokyo Olympics after European Indoor Championships medal

An accountant-turned-sprinter is hoping the timings add up in his bid to compete at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 12:00 pm

Lee Thompson, who trains at City of Sheffield and Dearne Athletic Club, balances a full-time career at Frasers Group alongside competing for Great Britain as a 400-metre runner.

Last Sunday he anchored the GB men’s relay team to third place in the final of the 4 x 400m at the European Indoor Championships in Toruń, Poland.

His team mates included a car salesman, a maths teacher and a postgraduate student.

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Lee, who turned 24 two days earlier, says: “It was wicked, it finished on a high with the bronze. It was a bit of an intense birthday compared to usual but it was fun.

"It was massively made great by the people. Even though there were some big names on the team everyone was getting along with each other.”

The Worksop-based athlete also made the semi-final of the Men’s 400 metres and hopes to qualify for both events in Tokyo.

Lee says: “Tokyo is the main aim. I’ve got a high chance of making it, I’ve just got to perform to the best of my abilities and realise the potential I’ve got.

Lee Thompson gets off the mark in the Men's 400 metres at the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships.

“It's a very high standard compared to previous years but you have got to aim high to achieve the best.”

He will discover his fate at the end of June.

“It would be amazing,” he says. “It's going to take a lot of hard work and dedication over the next few months but it's definitely doable and it would be a dream come true.

“It's not just getting there, it's competing. We have got a great reputation in 4 X 400m, if we turn up and everyone's on form there’s nothing that can stop us."

The junior accountant, who won gold in the 4 x 400m relay at the 2017 European U23 Championships, trains six days a week alongside his job, sometimes squeezing in sessions before and after work.

He receives no funding or sponsorship money.

“It's a busy schedule to say the least but it's what I have always done,” he adds.

"The dream is definitely to make it the the top of the top. It was never my ambition to make money when I started the sport, it was all about enjoying it.”