Posted: Tuesday January 22, 2013 11:36 PM

Former high jumper John Thomas dies at 71

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BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) - John Thomas, a former high jump world-record holder and two-time Olympic medalist, has died. He was 71.

Thomas was inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1985 after a career in which he broke the world outdoor record three times, won silver and bronze Olympic medals and captured two NCAA titles while at Boston University.

The USATF says Thomas died last week. It provided no further details.

Over his career, Thomas cleared 7 feet or higher 191 times and lost just eight competitions. He may be best remembered for becoming the first athlete to sail over the 7-foot mark at the 1959 Millrose Games. He was only 17 at the time.

One of the favorites heading into the 1960 Rome Games, Thomas settled for bronze. Four years later in Tokyo, he won silver.

 
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