Mutaz Barshim of Qatar along with Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi have put to rest the concerns of a serious injury and shared a rare Olympic athletes gold in the high jump. While Barshim gave Qatar its first Olympic track and field title, Tamberi recorded a best clearance of 2.37 metres on Sunday. Notably, Belarus also cleared that height to set a national record but missed out on a share of the gold medal since he had failed earlier.
Both the 30-year-old Barshim and the 29-year-old Tamberi did not have a single failed attempt until they attempted to go for the 2.39-metre mark. However, it was after three failures each at this level that they ended tied and had a conversation with an Olympic official. Although the official had first offered a “jump-off” to decide the matter, Barshim inquired whether they could have two gold medals.
As soon as the official nodded to this, the two athletes were seen getting overwhelmed with joy and emotions. Barshim now has all the three medals alongside his name, having already bagged the bronze in 2012 and silver in Rio 2016.
The video of them deciding to share the gold has gone viral on the internet with some terming it the best moment of Tokyo 2020.
Watch the video here:
"This is a dream I don’t want to wake up from," he said after the win.
"I have been through a lot. 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 at this moment," he added.
Meanwhile, for Tamberi the Olympic gold was an addition to a world indoor and a European title, both of which he won in 2016. He also had a rather flamboyant celebration despite there being no spectators due to COVID-19. He had suffered a career-threatening Achilles’ tendon injury and to come back from there and win a gold has been a super effort.
"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 anymore. It’s been a long journey," he added