23 SEP 2007 General News

Men's High Jump

Olympic champion Stefan Holm, who had finished a disappointed fourth in Osaka despite being clear on his first attempts through four heights up to and including 2.33m, showed great fight today. When seemingly dead and buried at 2.30m, he pulled out the energy for a marvellous clearance on his third approach to the bar.

Yet just as in Osaka, the Swede had the prodigiously talented Donald Thomas of the Bahamas to cope with. The former basketball player, who is still jumping in flat soled shoes from that sport, cleared 2.27m and then 2.30m on his first tries with such ease that we could perhaps have already guessed the end result today.

Holm’s victory bid failed at 2.32m, as did USA’s Tora Harris and Britain’s Germaine Mason who had passed their last attempts at 2.30m, hoping to resurrect their challenge with one bid each at 2.32m. Neither were close to succeeding.

Thomas remained fighting strong and his flight on his third try at 2.32m was perfection, sealing what was already his win. The only real shame was that only a few minutes later, Thomas, after coming so close to success at 2.39m on his first try, had to end his competition, after his legs cramped up.

An impressive day particularly for an athlete who has only been high jumping for a year!

"Everytime I step on the track I expect to win,"confirmed Thomas. "I'm not surprised about the result today...I wanted to clear 2.39m but then I got a cramp in my calves. I feel so great today with this fantastic crowd today."

Chris Turner for the IAAF