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'Spirit of sportsmanship': Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi, Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim agree to share Olympic gold

Both Mutaz Barshim, 30, and Gianmarco Tamberi, 29, ended with jumps of 2.37 metres and had no failed attempts until they attempted to clear 2.39.

August 02, 2021 / 12:55 PM IST
Gold medalists Mutaz Barshim, left, of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy celebrate on the track after the final of the men's high jump at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (Christian Petersen/Pool Photo via AP)

Gold medalists Mutaz Barshim, left, of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy celebrate on the track after the final of the men's high jump at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (Christian Petersen/Pool Photo via AP)


Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi and Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim agreed to the tie on August 1 at the Tokyo Games in the men's high jump. The competition was settled not by clearing the top height but through a subtle nod.

Both Barshim, 30, and Tamberi, 29, ended with jumps of 2.37 metres and had no failed attempts until they attempted to clear 2.39.

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After three failures each at that height, an Olympic official first offered them a jump-off to decide the winner.

Replying, Barshim asked, "Can we have two golds?"

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.

“I still can’t believe it happened,” Tamberi said. “Sharing with a friend is even more beautiful. ... It was just magical."

Both the high-jumpers were perfect until the bar was set to the Olympic-record height of 2.39 meters (7 feet 10 inches). Each missed three times.

(With inputs from agencies)

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first published: Aug 2, 2021 12:55 pm

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