Thomas secures berth in high jump final


Senior Sports Reporter

DONALD Thomas secured his berth in the International Amateur Athletic Federation's Diamond League high jump final by placing fourth in the eighth leg of the Athletissima Lausanne at the Stade de la Pontaise in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Thomas went head-to-head with Bahamian Trevor Barry as they both cleared 2.25 metres or 7-feet, 4 1/2-inches. Thomas, however, got fifth place on fewer knockdowns, while Barry trailed for sixth place. Danil Lysenko, an authorised neutral athlete, had a season's best of 2.37m (7-9 1/4) for the win.

In the process, he moved into third place in the Diamond League standings with 17 points to trail Mutaz Essa Barshim from Qatar with 24 points and Lysenko with 22 for second. Barry is in 13th place with just three points.

"Competition today was about locking in my spot for the Diamond League final," Thomas told The Tribune. "I'm one of four high jumpers who secured a spot for the Brussels Diamond League final, so mission accomplished.

"With two more Diamond League competitions left for high jump, I was able to lock in my spot so it's a good feeling and it shows that I'm competing at a high level."

Thomas, coming off his season's best performance at his last meet on Monday when he soared 2.32m (7-7 1/4) to finish in fourth place behind Mutaz and ahead of Barry at the Gyulai Memorial, said he wanted to jump higher, but may have exerted too much energy to recuperate fully in time. "I wanted to jump higher, but after tasking 14 jumps on Monday, then the quick turnaround, I was feeling a little fatigued," he said.

"But all in all, I'm okay with the results. I'm injury free and ready to start preparing for my next meet, which is the Monaco Diamond League on July 20th."

Thomas, the 33-year-old Bahamian national champion, said he was offered an invitation to compete in a couple other meets before Monaco, but he opted not to compete in any of them because he wants to get some rest and put in some quality training to be ready for the bigger meets ahead of him the rest of the season.

"I'm also looking forward to some other Bahamians qualifying for the finals in the coming weeks," Thomas said.

"I'm sure Shaunae (Miller-Uibo) and Stevie (Gardiner) will join me in the finals."