Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi have chosen to share the Olympics high jump gold medal.
The pair took part in an extremely tense final, which saw both athletes end on 2.37 metres.
Neither Barshim or Tamberi had any failed attempts in the run up to the final, but both struggled to clear the 2.39 mark. The current Olympic record is 2.39 metres, which was set by Charles Austin in 1996.
Usually the protocol is that the athletes then have a jump-off to determine the winner, but Barshim asked Olympic officials if there could be two golds instead.
While Tamberi didn’t say anything, he then jumped on Barshim to hug him, presumably meaning he was happy to share the award.
Today, August 1, marks the first time two people have shared an Olympic medal in over 100 years.
People have since taken to social media to applaud the two athletes for their sportsmanship.
One person wrote, ‘Wow. What a moment of elation. Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi have agreed to share the gold medal in the high jump. They did not have any misses through 2.37m. No jump-off.’
Another person said, ‘I didn’t know anything about high jump five minutes ago and now I’ll never forget Barshim and Tamberi sharing the gold medal for the high jump. Incredible scenes,’ while someone else branded their decision as ‘the true essence of sportsmanship’.
Sharing a clip of the pair embracing, another Olympics-viewer tweeted, ‘Wow…! The extraordinary, emotional moment Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi agree to share the high jump gold medal,’ as someone else described it as their favourite moment of Tokyo 2020 so far.
Both men had sustained serious injuries in the run-up to today. Barshim damaged his ankle ligaments at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial meet in Hungary in 2018, while Tamberi injured his Achilles tendon in 2016, an injury that prevented him from taking part at Rio 2016.
Tamberi could be seen taking his final run-ups with part of the cast his leg was in on the floor next to him.
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