While all eyes were on the men’s 100-metre final on Sunday, two high jumpers were competing for their own gold medal.
Mutaz Barshim from Qatar and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi have been competing against one another for years. Both have had major setbacks due to injuries over the last few years and wanted nothing more than to win gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
For two hours the athletes jumped and cleared several attempts. After both clearing 2.37 metres, they both failed to beat that.
With the athletes tied in first place, the International Olympic Committee official on duty offered them a jump-off. This would have meant that the first athlete not to clear a specific heigh would have lost out on the gold medal.
Instead of saying yes to a jump-off, Barshim asked the official if they can’t share the gold medal since they’ve cleared the exact same height.
The official then nodded and said that they can share it, but that means they have to both agree on it.
With Barshim and Tamberi being not only competitors but also good friends off the track, it was a no brainer for the two athletes.
They are now joint gold medal winners in the men’s high jump with 2.37-metre clearances.
Not long after the two won their gold medals, Tamberi’s fellow countryman Lamont Marcell Jacobs shocked the world when he won the 100 metres final. Tamberi and Jacobs managed to embrace each other and share in the double gold joy.
Image credit: The Japan Times