Qatari and Italian best friends share Olympic gold medal for men’s high jump

Qatari and Italian best friends share Olympic gold medal for men’s high jump
Isa Peralta
By Isa Peralta
August 2, 2021
Instead of competing in a jump-off, Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi decided to share gold for the men’s high jump.
What happened: Barshim, 30, and Tamberi, 29, tied for first place on Sunday, as stated on the Olympics’ official website. 
  • During the final in the men’s high jump, both athletes failed to scale the last height. They cleared 2.37 meters (7.78 feet) but could not clear 2.39 meters (7.84 feet), according to The Washington Post.
  • As an Olympic official explained the possibility of a jump-off, Barshim asked, “Can we have two golds?”
  • “I look at [Tamberi], he looks at me, and we know it,” Barshim told Reuters. “We just look at each other and we know, that is it, it is done.”
  • The official accepted the request, and Tamberi ran around the track with joy.
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Years of friendship: Barshim and Tamberi first met at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, according to USA Today.
  • More than 10 years later, the two are still close. Tamberi attended Barshim’s wedding back in 2018, and he shared that they call each other “a lot — every 10 days, something like that.”
  • Meanwhile, Barshim said that “[Tamberi] 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.”
  • The athletes, who both overcame serious ankle injuries and bonded over their struggles, hope their decision to share gold shows that being a winner does not mean putting others down.
  • “I have been through a lot,” Barshim told USA Today. “It’s been five years that I have been waiting, with injuries and a lot of setbacks. But we are here today sharing this moment and all the sacrifices. It’s really worth it now in this moment.”
Featured Image via Getty
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