Deadlocked Friends Stop: 'Can We Have 2 Golds?'

High jumpers are both awarded Olympic victories
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2021 1:35 PM CDT
Deadlocked Friends Stop: 'Can We Have 2 Golds?'
Mutaz Barshim, left, of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy celebrate on the track Sunday in Tokyo.   (Christian Petersen/Pool Photo via AP)

Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy matched each other high jump for high jump Sunday in Tokyo, with neither missing. So they attempted jumps of 7 feet, 10 inches, which would have been an Olympic record. They both tried the jump three times and missed all three, Reuters reports. Calling the longtime friends over, a official suggested a jump-off. Barshim had another idea. "Can we have two golds?" he asked. They can. "I look at him, he looks at me, and we know it," Barshim said. "We just look at each other and we know, that is it, it is done. There is no need." Instead of competing again, they jumped into each other's arms. "I dreamed of this so many times," Tamberi said.

Gold medals have been shared in timed events that are decided by a fraction of a second, per the Wall Street Journal, though never in the high jump. But Rule 26.8.4 in the World Athletics technical handbook says gold can be shared if the competitors agree to it. "To share it with Marco is an amazing feeling," Barshim said, per Sports Illustrated, adding, "I'm really happy." Barshim hopes their decision has a wide effect. "This is beyond sport," he said. "This is the message we deliver to the young generation." The two friends had briefly discussed such a result before, per Yahoo News. "We just said, 'Imagine,'" Barshim said. "Today, it happened." (Tamberi also shared his happiness with countryman Lamont Marcell Jacobs, who won the 100-meter sprint minutes later.)

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