Rare shared gold came as Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim
and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi tied
on 2.37-metre clearances in Tokyo.
Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi have put the nightmare of serious injuries behind them to share a rare Olympic athletics gold in the high jump.
Barshim – giving Qatar its first Olympic track and field title – and Tamberi recorded a best clearance of 2.37 metres on Sunday.
Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus also cleared that height to set a national record. However, he missed out on a share of the gold because of an earlier failure.
Both Barshim, 30, and the 29-year-old Tamberi did not have a failed attempt until they attempted to clear the 2.39-metre mark.
After three failures each at 2.39, they ended up tied and entered a conversation with an Olympic official, who first offered them a “jump-off” to decide the matter.
“Can we have two golds,” Barshim asked him.
The official nodded, and the two athletes clasped hands and whooped for joy.
His emotional celebrations were understandable given he had suffered a serious Achilles’ tendon injury weeks away from the 2016 Games which has seen him perform in a plaster cast.
“After my injuries, I just wanted to come back, but now I have this gold, it’s incredible,” he said.
“I dreamed of this so many times. I was told in 2016, just before Rio, there was a risk I wouldn’t be able to compete any more. It’s been a long journey,” he added.