Donald Thomas competes in the men’s high jump qualification at the World Athletics Championships at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing. (AP)
From BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
in Beijing, China
WITH NO team in the grand finale - the men's 4 x 400m relay - Team Bahamas closed out competition at the 15th IAAF World Championships with two competitors in the men's high jump final on Sunday at the Bird's Nest Stadium.
Donald Thomas soared to sixth place for the second consecutive championships at 2.29m (7ft 6in) and Trevor Barry, back in the championships since he won the bronze medal in 2011 in Daegu, ended up tenth with 2.25m (7ft 4 1/2in).
The unpredictable showdown concluded with a jump-off between the three medallists after they finished in tie at 2.33m (7ft 7 3/4in).
Derek Drouin, the Olympic champion and bronze medallist from the 2013 championships, won the gold with 2.34m (7ft 8in) and defending champion Bohdan Bondarenko, of Ukraine, and China's colourful Guowel Zhang tied again for the silver at 2.33m.
Thomas, the 31-year-old Grand Bahamian native now coached by Cuban world record holder Javier Sotomayor in Cuba, took a gamble when he passed at the fourth height of 2.33m and opted to go up to the fifth height of 2.36m (7ft 8 3/4in). But he missed all three attempts.
At the third height of 2.29m, Thomas got his first knockdown and and Barry followed with another, However, Thomas cleared at the second attempt, but Barry missed his second and on his third, his right leg hit the bar and he was eliminated with five others.
While Thomas remained with a clean slate at the second height of 2.25m, Barry moved into ninth spot with he cleared the mark on his first attempt. The first competitor to be eliminated was Konstadinos Baniotis of Greece, at the height.
Again, Thomas had no problems going over the opening height of 2.20m (7ft 2 1/2in) but Barry had to go to his third and final attempt to avoid an early elimination. Only Barry and Baniotis had difficulties clearing the opening height. Baniotis cleared it on his second attempt to sit in 13th place with Barry at the bottom in 14th.
Ryan Ingraham, the other member of the jumping trio for Team Bahamas, failed to advance to the final from the qualifying round on Saturday. Competing with a slight injury he sustained at the Pan American Games where he won bronze, bowed out with a best of 2.26m for a two-way tie for 25th place.
The Bahamas were eliminated from the final of the men's 4 x 400m relay for the third consecutive championship. This time, on Saturday, Michael Mathieu had a lane violation on the second leg as the team of Steven Gardiner, Alonzo Russell and Ramon Miller, who finished second, were disqualified.
The Bahamas finished tied with Trinidad & Tobago and Ukraine for 20th spot in the medals table with the one silver from Shaunae Miller in the women's 400m and the bronze from Jeffery Gibson in the men's 400m hurdles.
Kenya, surprisingly, held on for the top spot with seven gold, six silver and three bronze for 16 medals. Jamaica surged into second with seven gold, two silver and three bronze for 12 and the United States rounded out the top[ three with six gold, six silver and six bronze for a total of 18 medals.
And in the placings table, the Bahamas was 19th overall with a second, third and sixth place for 16 points. The US, however, turned the tables by winning with 214 points, compared to Kenya's 173 for second and Jamaica with 132 for third.
The focus now switches to London, England, for the 16th IAAF World Championships from August 5-13, 2017. Next year the athletes will compete in the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon, from March 17-20 and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5-21.
See Monday's edition of The Tribune for full wrap up and photos of the championships.