TOKYO, Japan – The top 12 athletes will advance to the final of the men’s high jump at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but will Bahamians Donald Thomas and Jamal Wilson be among them? Click here for startlist.
Bahamians Hoping For The Best
The experienced pair are the lone representatives for the English-speaking Caribbean nations and they will be hoping to rediscover their best forms in a push to be at least among the 12 best performers from the qualifying round. The qualifying round of the men’s high jump will take place at 8:15 pm ET on Thursday (09:15 pm in Tokyo on Friday).
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Thomas and Wilson will begin their respective battles against the world’s best in the opening session on the first day of the track and field schedule on Friday (30) in Tokyo, but will compete in separate groups.
Thomas, the 2007 world championships gold medalist, will line up against 16 other jumpers in the first flight of the event.
The 37-year-old will enter the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo with a seasonal best of 2.28m, which is below the 2.30m clearance needed for automatic qualification, while his best so far this term, has him listed at 16th in Group A and is one of two men in the group under 2.30m this season.
Thomas owns a lifetime best of 2.37m, but he hasn’t cleared the bar at 2.30m or high since 2018 when he went over 2.32m.
Since winning the world title 14-years-ago, the Bahamian has managed to make five other major championships final, including finishing seventh at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Wilson Must Improve Significantly
Meanwhile, his fellow countryman Wilson will compete from the second flight and will also line up against 15 other competitors.
The 32-year-old only finished fifth at the Bahamian Olympic Trials last month and has a season’s best of only 2.24m, but was selected to represent his country, given that he has a personal best of 2.30m, achieved last year in Nassau.
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Securing passages to the final of the men’s high jump competition will not be easy for the Bahamians who will more than likely need to better their current year’s best significantly to navigate around some of the top men in the event.
For Wilson, he will have to contend with the likes of USA champion JuVaughn Harrison and his teammate Darryl Sullivan Jr., Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus, Mikhail Akimenko of the ROC, Loïc Gasch of Switzerland, and Brandon Starc of Australia who have all cleared heights above the automatic qualification standard.
Thomas, in the meantime, will have for company Ilya Ivanyuk of the ROC team, Italian Gianmarco Tamberi, Ukraine’s Andriy Protsenko, American Shelby McEwen, and Django Lovett of Canada who are all among the leading contenders for a spot in the final.
Will Wilson and Thomas pull off the unexpected?
I am sure the Bahamians all around the world are praying for at least one spot in the final.