30 August, 2007 - Published 07:49 GMT

Thomas gets gold for Bahamas

Donald Thomas of the Bahamas was the surprise winner of the men's world high jump gold at the world athletics championships in Osaka in Japan.

The gold medal completed a remarkable rise to the top of international athletics for 23-year-old Donald Thomas.

A former basketball player, Thomas made a phenomenal start to his high jump career 18 months ago when he jumped 2.20m indoors without having had any training in five years.

In Osaka, he equalled his personal best by clearing 2.35 metres at his first attempt and, despite failing three times at 2.37 metres, it proved good enough to win gold at his first global championships.

He was declared the winner because of his inferior number of attempts ahead of Russia's Yaroslav Rybakovu.

For one only in his second season of serious competition, it was a stunning performance by the somewhat unorthodox Thomas.

"I hope people in Bahamas will celebrate even more than me," he beamed after his victory.

It was the second medal of the games for the Bahamas following the silver by Derick Atkins in the men's one hundred metres.

Other medals secured for the Caribbean by Wednesday were all bronze: Cuba's Yarelis Barrios in the women's discus, Novlene Williams of Jamaica in the women's 400 metres and her compatriot Delloreen Ennis-London in the women's 100 metres hurdles.

By Wednesday the region had notched up eight medals; two gold, two silver and four bronze.