Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim added a coveted Olympic gold to his list of accolades in the men’s high jump in Tokyo on Sunday, but he had to share the medal with Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy after both men ended with jumps of 2.37 metres.
Both Barshim, 30, and the 29-year-old Tamberi did not have a failed attempt till they attempted to clear the 2.39 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.
Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus also cleared the 2.37 mark but he had more failed attempts, resulting in him taking the bronze medal.
At the 2012 London Games Barshim won a bronze, which was later upgraded to silver. He picked up another silver in Rio de Janeiro four years later and then won two successive world titles in 2017 and 2019.
His personal best of 2.43m is the second-highest jump of all time and is only behind Javier Sotomayor’s world record mark of 2.45 set in 1993.
South Korean Woo Sang-hyeok and Australian Brandon Starc, the younger brother of cricketer Mitchell, both cleared 2.35 to finish fourth and fifth respectively.