Aug. 29, 2007
OSAKA, Japan -
Donald Thomas, who won the NCAA Indoor national championship in the high jump for Auburn in 2007, continued his meteoric rise in the event by earning the title of World Champion Wednesday at the IAAF World Championships, roughly a year and a half after he first took up the sport.
Thomas, a native of the Bahamas, pulled off the upset by clearing 2.35m (7-8.25) on his first attempt. He was one of three athletes to clear that height, but was the only jumper who needed just one attempt to make the height, giving the title when all three failed at 2.37m. Thomas was in danger of dropping out at 2.33m (7-7.75), but cleared the bar on his third and final attempt before the bar was raised for his winning jump.
Thomas, who was also named the SEC Male Track and Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2007 after posting a 4.0 grade-point average, became the first former Auburn track and field athlete to win a title at the World Championships since Avard Moncur won the 400m in 2001.
Moncur was also in action Wednesday, reaching the finals of the 400m by finishing third in his semifinal heat with a time of 44.86 seconds. Moncur will be in lane two when the finals are contested Friday.
Another member of Auburn's 2007 team, Shamar Sands, competed in the opening round of the men's 110m hurdles Wednesday. Sands, also competing for the Bahamas, did not advance to the semifinals, finishing sixth in his heat with a time of 13.72 seconds.
Also on Wednesday, former Tiger Vonette Dixon finished seventh in the finals of the women's 100m hurdles. Dixon, competing for Jamaica, clocked a time of 12.64 seconds. Michelle Perry of the United States won the event in 12.46.
Action at the IAAF World Championships continues through Sunday.