‘Inspiration Award’ during the World Athletics Gala 2021 on Wednesday.

Qatari high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim and his Italian friend and rival Gianmarco Tamberi were bestowed with the ‘Inspiration Award’ during the World Athletics Gala 2021 on Wednesday.

The duo had become the talking point of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after deciding to share the gold medal at an intense contest. Faced with the prospect of a jump-off for the title, they instead decided to take a different path, in an act of mutual respect and sportsmanship between two friends.

“I hope to inspire more people to love our sport and maybe share a gold one day,” said Mutaz, after accepting the award.

“It’s just crazy if I think about this story. I now call Mutaz like five times a week because I need to speak with him. I feel that now we aren’t just friends, we’re really like blood brothers,” said Tamberi.