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Thomas sixth in high jump; Ingraham tied for 10th

  • Donald Thomas.

Guardian Sports Editor

Published: Aug 16, 2013

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MOSCOW, Russia – The men’s high jump competition was so intense on Thursday night, that the winner cleared a height that only two others in the history of the event have topped, and the 2.32 meters (m) clearance by Bahamian Donald Thomas could have given the former world champion a bronze medal two years ago.

Thomas cleared 2.32m (7’ 7-1/4”) on his second attempt to finish sixth in the competition on Thursday night. It was a season’s best mark for him, and it came on the world’s biggest stage for athletics, the International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships.

Bahamian youngster Ryan Ingraham, 19, also competed in that competition last night, and finished in a three-way tie for 10th, with a best clearance of 2.25m (7’ 4-1/2”), as Day Six of the championships wrapped up last night at the Luzhniki Big Sports Arena.

After clearing the 2.32m height, and watching two athletes go clear on their first

attempt at 2.35m (7’ 8-1/2”), Thomas decided to go for all the marbles. He passed on 2.35m and went after the 2.38m (7’ 9-3/4”) height which not only would have moved him into second place at the time, but also tie Troy Kemp’s 20-year-old national record.

“I’m a little disappointed. I feel that is a jump that I could make,” said Thomas last night. “It just didn’t happen for me tonight. I had the bar height and everything – just need to work on it a little more. I was injured all season, and just a lack of jumps threw me off. With more jumps at that height, I think I’ll get it. It was a learning experience for both me and Ryan. I’m just glad that both of us were able to compete in the final tonight.”

The winner last night, Bohdan Bondarenko, from the Ukraine, set a championships record in matching his personal best of 2.41m (7’ 10-3/4”) for the gold medal. It was a height that he had to clear after the second and third place finishers both went over 2.38m.

Bondarenko went over 2.41m on his second attempt, and then went to attempt a new world record of 2.46m (8’ 0-3/4”), but he fell short on all three attempts. Cuban world record holder Javier Sotomayor remains the only jumper in history to ever jump over eight feet in the men’s high jump. The world record of 2.45m (8’ 0-1/2”) has stood since 1993.

Mutaz Essa Barshim, of Qatar, cleared 2.38m on his first attempt for the silver medal last night, and Derek Drouin, of Canada, went over that same height, but on his second attempt, settled for the bronze. That leap was also a new Canadian national record for Drouin.

Russia’s Ivan Ukhov finished fourth, clearing a 2.35m, Erik Kynard, from the United States, was fifth, clearing 2.32m on his second attempt, and Thomas had to settle for sixth with a clearance of that same height, also on his second attempt. He fell one spot behind Kynard due to number of knockdowns.

“I felt good warming up, and I felt good when I was jumping,” said Thomas. “I just didn’t jump high enough. This was by far the toughest competition that I’ve been in. My best just wasn’t good enough. Probably everyone out there is jumping with some kind of injury or the next. That’s just how it is. I came to Russia to represent Eight Mile Rock, and I feel like I let my city down. I just have to go back to the drawing board and come back stronger.”

As for the youngster Ryan Ingraham, he said that it was a learning experience that he will never forget.

“I know what to do when I go back. I know exactly what to do when I jump against these guys again. I built some confidence jumping against them,” said Ingraham last night. “It was a good performance. It wasn’t my best, and it wasn’t my worse, so I’ll take it. I wasn’t nervous at all. Things like my arch – I knew that was a little off from the beginning. I just tried to come out and give it my all and it wasn’t good enough.”

Still, at just 19-years-old, Ingraham was making his first appearance on the big stage. It was his first time competing in the senior world championships, and the Bahamian junior national record holder said that he is definitely looking forward to returning.

“I enjoyed myself,” said Ingraham. “The weather was kind of funny, and then there was the time change and things like that, but it was okay. I had to make a few adjustments. I got plenty experience from this.”

Thomas cleared 2.29m (7’ 6”) in the qualifying round on Tuesday, while Ingraham qualified for the final with a clearance of 2.26m (7’ 5”) on Tuesday.


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