The Qatari Barshim and the Italian Tamberi give up the tiebreaker and become Olympic height champions
A shared gold. As friends. A gesture typical of a competition like the Games. Gianmarco Tamberi (Italy) and Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar) enjoyed themselves on the track and allowed the few people who were in the Olympic Stadium to enjoy themselves. His jumps, in the high-altitude competition, were pure plasticity, poetry to behold. At the first try, they overcame the obstacle. No error. And they were planted at 2.37. Another success. For 2.39, the Olympic record of the American Charles Austin. None of them succeeded. Three nulls. Then the judge asks them if they want to have a tiebreaker to share the glory and second place. Or if they prefer to leave it at that. Two golden medals. They look at each other, they hug and both are the winners.
Tamberi exceeds 2.19. Your opponent starts directly at 2.24. All in order. One after another they raise the bar. Upwards. 2.27, 2.30, 2.33, 2.35 and 2.37. Perfect And the moment of truth arrives. 2.39. None is capable of crossing that border. There they stay. Tiebreaker? Asks the judge. They do not answer. They decide, in an exercise of sportsmanship, that the gold is for both. While the bronze remains for Maskin Nedasekau, a 23-year-old Belarusian who also reached the 2.37 barrier, but had signed a null at 2.19 and another at 2.35. So … Shared gold with a taste of overcoming.
Because both the Qatari, 30 years old, silver in London and Rio, and the Italian, 29, who was known, in addition to his quality for showing half a shaven face and the other part not, have suffered significant injuries during his career . Barshim, then world champion, tore his ankle ligaments in 2018 in an attempt to break Javier Sotomayor’s world record of 2.45. He has recovered perfectly. This gold proves it. And the transalpine? Well, in 2016 he broke a deltoid ligament injury, which left him out of the Rio Games to one of the favorites, at that time European champion. He also smiled this Sunday.
And he did it twice. Because shortly after he turned out to witness the triumph of his compatriot in the 100 meter dash, the new Bolt. Marcell Jacobs and Tamberi merged into an emotional hug and spent a good time on the track in celebration.