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DONALD THOMAS CLEARLY TOP ATHLETE IN 2010

The names of superb performers on the world’s sports stage for The Bahamas in 2010 make up a long list. It has again been an extraordinary sporting year for the nation.

Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace was spectacular in swimming; Valentino Knowles sensational in amateur boxing; high jumper Trevor Barry was consistently good internationally; Chris Brown became a World Champion(IAAF Indoor Championships 400 meters); Christine Amertil is aging like good wine in her speciality, also the 400 meters; Levan Sands maintained his excellent world elite form in the triple jump; Shaunae Miller became a junior world champion over one lap on the track; and Lesly St. Fleur was signed by Milltown FC of the Canadian Soccer League and excited onlookers.

St. Fleur, a National Team striker, had an awesome season for Milltown. He joined the team just in July and played only 12 of 24 games but still led in goals(10)by three ahead of the next, best scorer.

He had a milestone season and took Bahamian soccer to a new level. St. Fleur attracted the attention of European teams. In any other year he would be a lock in the minds of many as the top Bahamian athlete.

He certainly would have gotten SPORTS SCOPE’S support also, if not for a 26-year-old former world champion high jumper.

Donald Thomas, with his gold medals at the Central American and Caribbean Games and also the Commonwealth Games, clearly was the best in 2010. The medal achievements were sufficient credentials for me. But, I was more impressed with how he found the resolve to return to the pinnacle of his event.

At times in 2008 and 2009, I wondered whether we would ever see the Donald Thomas of 2007, when he was the world’s best. The way he put the sub-par performances behind him and recaptured that winning form is highly commendable.

Following the CAC Games gold medal(he edged fellow Bahamian Trevor Barry with lesser misses at 2.28), there were still doubts about the Grand Bahamian native. In New Delhi, India, however at the Commonwealth Games, the concerns went away.

Thomas set an Indian-All-Comers record of 2.32 meters in winning the gold medal over(Barry again, 2.29 meters)and Botswana’s Kabelo Kgosiemang. 2.26 meters.

He will be one of the favorites for the gold in Daegu, Korea next year at the International Association of Athletic Federations Championships. It’s good to see how he got his career back in gear. I believe in 2011 he will move beyond his personal best of 2.35 meters.

(To respond to this column, kindly contact frobertsturrup@gmail.com).

DONALD THOMAS

…Sports Scope’s 2010 Top Athlete

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