Donald Thomas (high jumper)
|Born||1 July 1984|
|Height||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||81 kg (179 lb)|
|Sport||Track and field|
|College team||Auburn Tigers|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||2.37 m|
Thomas initially played basketball at Bishop Michael Eldon School in Freeport Bahamas, before taking up high jump in January 2006 while studying at Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri, where he played on the University's basketball team. He tried high jump for the first time when challenged by members of the track and field team, who were reacting to his claims about his ability to slam dunk. Thomas cleared 6'6" (1.98 m) on his first attempt and 7' (2.13 m) on his third ever jump. The athletes then sought the head track coach Lane Lohr, who entered Thomas in a meet two days later at Eastern Illinois University. At the meet he cleared 7'3.25" (2.22 m), on his seventh-ever jump.
In March 2006, Thomas placed second at the 2006 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships with a height of 7'1.75" (2.18 m). Later that month, just two months after taking up high jump, he finished fourth at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne with a jump of 2.23 m. Not yet experienced at high jump, Thomas gained notoriety at the Commonwealth Games for not measuring his run-up, competing in shoes without spikes, and putting his arms behind his back to land on the mat as if breaking his fall.
During the 2007 indoor season he cleared 2.30 metres for the first time and in March jumped 2.33 metres in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In July 2007 he cleared 2.35 metres in Salamanca, Spain. The result was a new personal best and the world season's best at the time. He then won the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan, again with a 2.35 jump. He also won gold at the 2007 IAAF World Athletics Final. That year he also won the IAAF Newcomer of the Year, and the Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association Athlete of the Year.
Thomas won the gold medal in the high jump at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. In the final he was the only competitor to clear the height of 2.32, which he managed at the first attempt. The silver medal in the event was won by his countryman Trevor Barry. In 2011, he won the gold medal in the high jump at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, again with a height of 2.32.
Thomas represented the Bahamas at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He made the final for the first time at an Olympic competition and finished in equal 7th place with a jump of 2.29.
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- "Gyulai István Memorial" (PDF). all-athletics.com. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
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- Valiente, Emeterio (5 July 2007). "2.35 World lead for Donald Thomas in Salamanca". IAAF.org. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
- Epstein, David (2013). The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance. Current. ISBN 978-1-59184-511-9.
- "Donald Thomas is revelation of the year". iaaf.org. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "2006 Indoor Track & Field National Championships Results". naia.org. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
- "Donald Thomas (Bahamas) in first major competition clears 2.20m wearing only warm-up training shoes opposed to athletes spikes, Men's High Jump, 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games". gettyimages.ca. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
- "Lindenwood's Thomas Competes at Commonwealth Games". naia.org. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
- Dunaway, James (11 March 2007). "Thomas clears 2.33m, as Hastings blazes women's 400 in 50.80 - NCAA Indoor Champs, Day 2". IAAF.org. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
- "IAAF Top Lists High Jump 2007 (men)".
- on YouTube
- "Commonwealth Games Biography - Donald Thomas". 8 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "Donald Thomas Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "Men's High Jump - Standings". rio2016.com. Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
- "Athletics THOMAS Donald - Tokyo 2020 Olympics". .. Archived from the original on 11 August 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
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