Donald Thomas (high jumper)

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Donald Thomas
Donald Thomas celebrating in Osaka 2007
Personal information
Nationality Bahamian
Born (1984-07-01) 1 July 1984 (age 39)
Freeport, Bahamas
Height1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)[1]
Weight81 kg (179 lb)
SportTrack and field
Event(s)High jump
College teamAuburn Tigers
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)2.37 m[2][3]
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing the  Bahamas
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2007 Osaka High jump
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 2010 Delhi High jump
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 2011 Guadalajara High jump
Silver medal – second place 2007 Rio de Janeiro High jump
CAC Games
Gold medal – first place 2010 Mayaguez High Jump
Gold medal – first place 2018 Barranquilla High Jump
NACAC Championships
Bronze medal – third place 2018 Toronto High Jump
Bronze medal – third place 2022 Freeport High Jump
Representing Americas
Continental Cup
Gold medal – first place 2018 Ostrava High jump
Silver medal – second place 2010 Split High jump

Donald Thomas (born 1 July 1984) is a Bahamian high jumper from Freeport, Bahamas.


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.[4] 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.[5][6]

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).[7] 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.[5][8][9]

During the 2007 indoor season, he cleared 2.30 metres for the first time and in March jumped 2.33 metres in Fayetteville, Arkansas.[10] 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.[4][11] 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.[12] That year, he also won the IAAF Newcomer of the Year and the Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association Athlete of the Year.[13]

The Olympics in 2008, however, turned out to be a major disappointment for Thomas. He made only 2.20 in the qualifying round and finished 21st overall.[14]

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 on the first attempt. His countryman Trevor Barry won the silver medal in the event. 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 competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. In qualification, he cleared 2.16, passed on 2.21, failed to clear 2.26, and did not advance to the final.

Thomas represented the Bahamas at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[1] He made the final for the first time at an Olympic competition and finished in equal 7th place with a jump of 2.29.[3][15]

He competed at the 2020 Summer Olympics.[16]

Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing the  Bahamas
2006 Commonwealth Games Melbourne, Australia 4th 2.23 m
NACAC U23 Championships Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 2nd 2.21 m
Central American and Caribbean Games Cartagena, Colombia 4th 2.13 m
2007 Pan American Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2nd 2.30 m
World Championships Osaka, Japan 1st 2.35 m
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 21st (q) 2.20 m
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 15th (q) 2.27 m
2010 World Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 15th (q) 2.18 m
Central American and Caribbean Games Mayagüez, Puerto Rico 1st 2.28 m
Commonwealth Games Delhi, India 1st 2.32 m
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 11th 2.20 m
Pan American Games Guadalajara, Mexico 1st 2.32 m
2012 World Indoor Championships Istanbul, Turkey 15th (q) 2.22 m
Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 30th (q) 2.16 m
2013 Central American and Caribbean Championships Morelia, Mexico NM
World Championships Moscow, Russia 6th 2.32 m
2014 World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland NM
Commonwealth Games Glasgow, United Kingdom 9th 2.21 m
2015 Pan American Games Toronto, Canada 3rd 2.28 m
World Championships Beijing, China 6th 2.29 m
2016 World Indoor Championships Portland, United States 10th 2.25 m
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 7th 2.29 m
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 22nd (q) 2.22 m
2018 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 6th 2.20 m
Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia 4th 2.27 m
Central American and Caribbean Games Barranquilla, Colombia 1st 2.28 m
NACAC Championships Toronto, Canada 3rd 2.28 m
2019 Pan American Games Lima, Peru 11th 2.10 m
World Championships Doha, Qatar 19th (q) 2.22 m
2021 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan 25th (q) 2.21 m
2022 World Indoor Championships Belgrade, Serbia 11th 2.20 m
World Championships Eugene, United States 23rd (q) 2.21 m
NACAC Championships Freeport, Bahamas 3rd 2.25 m


  1. ^ a b "Donald Thomas - athlete profile". Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Gyulai István Memorial" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Former Tiger Donald Thomas qualifies for Olympic high jump finals". Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b Valiente, Emeterio (5 July 2007). "2.35 World lead for Donald Thomas in Salamanca". Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  5. ^ a b Epstein, David (2013). The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance. Current. ISBN 978-1-59184-511-9.
  6. ^ "Donald Thomas is revelation of the year". Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  7. ^ "2006 Indoor Track & Field National Championships Results". 24 March 2006. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  8. ^ "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". Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Lindenwood's Thomas Competes at Commonwealth Games". Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  10. ^ Dunaway, James (11 March 2007). "Thomas clears 2.33m, as Hastings blazes women's 400 in 50.80 - NCAA Indoor Champs, Day 2". Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  11. ^ "IAAF Top Lists High Jump 2007 (men)".
  12. ^ Bahamian Thomas wins high jump gold on YouTube
  13. ^ "Commonwealth Games Biography - Donald Thomas". 8 August 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Donald Thomas Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics at Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Men's High Jump - Standings". Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  16. ^ "Athletics - THOMAS Donald". Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Archived from the original on 11 August 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021.

External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by Flag bearer for  Bahamas
Tokyo 2020
Joanna Evans
Succeeded by
Preceded by Men's High Jump Best Year Performance
alongside Stefan Holm, Yaroslav Rybakov and Kyriacos Ioannou

Succeeded by