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Olympic High Jumpers Share Gold Medal In Remarkable Show Of Sportsmanship

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Olympic High Jumpers Share Gold Medal In Remarkable Show Of Sportsmanship

Two Olympic high jumpers have agreed to share their gold medal after they could not be separated in the men's final earlier today.

Qatari athlete Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi both jumped the same height and decided that instead of deciding matters with a jump off, they'd become the first joint champions in 109 years.

To suggest that the pair were evenly matched is something of an understatement, given that they both completed all of their jumps from 2.19 metres to 2.37 metres without even a single fault between them.

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On the countback, they were joint first, as the only other man to clear 2.37 - Belarus' Maksim Nedaeskau - failing on one of his attempts at both 2.19 metres and 2.35 metres before eventually getting over.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

With their next potential jump set at the Olympic record of 2.39 metres, the pair decided to chat to the officials and see whether they had to jump at all.

"Do we have to go?" the Qatari asked.

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When they were told they didn't have to jump off against each other, they both broke out into wild celebrations, with Barshim jumping into his opponents arms before they both went off to celebrate with their teams.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

After the fact, Barshim said: "It is amazing, man.

"To share it with Marco is an amazing feeling. It is a great feeling. I'm really happy.

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"It is unreal,

"It is crazy I am so happy, man. It was the only thing missing. Now I am complete, I am so happy."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

This is the first gold medal for both athletes, with 30-year-old Barshim having claimed broke at both Rio 2016 and London 2012.

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Tamberi, 29, missed the 2016 games, and would have missed out on the Tokyo edition had they gone ahead as planned last summer.

The decision to share the medal was overwhelmingly well received on social media.

Team GB athlete Eilish McColgan tweeted: "Such an incredible moment. Two of the nicest people in our sport sharing gold."

British high jumper Emily Borthwick added: "I'm not crying, you're crying."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Athletics performance coach Steve Magness said on his Twitter account: "The sharing of the Olympic gold from Barshim and Tamberi and emotional outlet right after from both is what it's all about. What a moment in the high jump."

USA Track and Field tweeted: "Love the sportsmanship from Italy and Qatar in the men's high jump final!"

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: olympics, Tokyo

Tom Wood
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