Saturday, November 27, 2021

Friends share gold in Tokyo Olympics after deadlock in high jump

The men’s high jump gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games was shared between two friends albeit of different nationalities: Qatar and Italy. 

Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar) and Gianmarco Tamberi (Italy) both finished with 2.37 metres jump. They tried to clear 2.39 metres in a bid to break the deadlock but after failing in the attempt, they were asked a jump-off to decide the winner. 

Barsim, however, asked the organisers if the two could share the gold. The official nodded and the two athletes clasped hands and whooped for joy. 

“I look at him, he looks at me, and we know it. We just look at each other and we know, that is it, it is done. There is no need,” Barshim said.

“He is one of my best friends, not only on the track, but outside the track. We work together. This is a dream come true. It is the true spirit, the sportsman spirit, and we are here delivering this message,” he added further. 

Italian athlete Tamberi, who had career-threatening injury in the 2016 Rio Olympics said, “After my injuries, I just wanted to come back, but now I have this gold, it’s incredible. I dreamed of this so many times.”

Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus took bronze, having also jumped at 2.37m, but having more failed attempts across the competition.


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