Former high jump record holder Thomas dies at 71

Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:02am IST

(Reuters) - Former high jump world record holder and two-time Olympic medallist John Thomas, known for his Cold War rivalry with Soviet jumper Valeriy Brumel, has died at age 71, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) said on Thursday.

The BAA, which said Thomas died on Tuesday, did not disclose the cause of death.

Thomas first broke the world high jump record in 1960 by clearing 2.17 metres and improved on the record three more times within the next two months before Brumel took over the record with a leap of 2.23 in 1961.

Competing all over the world, the rivalry between Brumel and Thomas, at the peak of the Cold War, was considered one of the most dramatic rivalries in track and field.

Thomas, who as a Boston University freshman became the first athlete to clear seven feet (2.13 m) indoors, cleared that mark or higher 191 times, losing only eight competitions, according to the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame, who enshrined him in 1985. (Reporting by Larry Fine in New York, Editing by ......)

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Top Athletes

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Abu Dhabi GP

Abu Dhabi GP

Hamilton ready to stand and deliver  Full Article 

Suzuki Cup

Suzuki Cup

Singapore confident of Suzuki title, matchfixing worry lurks  Full Article 

Culture Shock

Culture Shock

Late kickoffs a culture shock for new Sociedad boss Moyes.  Full Article 

Davis Cup

Davis Cup

Gael-force Monfils blows France back into final.  Full Article | Related Story 

Hamilton Ahead

Hamilton Ahead

Advantage Hamilton in Abu Dhabi practice  Full Article 

Racist Comment

Racist Comment

FA investigating Wigan owner Whelan's remarks   Full Article 

Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

Kewell, Hong, Daei among AFC's first Hall of Fame inductees  Full Article 

Relief For Zidane

Relief For Zidane

Zidane coaching ban overturned  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage