“Can we both have gold?”: High jumpers forego the jump-off and are now both Olympic champions
This is sporting spirit: The high jumpers Essa Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi were on par in terms of failed attempts and skipped heights – and made a decision that earned them gold each.
In addition to world records or exciting millimeter decisions, it is often the emotional moments that are still well remembered from the Olympics years later. The two high jumpers Gianmarco Tamberi from Italy and the Qatar Essa Mutaz Barshim provided such a moment on the ninth day of the competition. The memorable and also historical scene should already be set for every review.
It is shortly before 3 p.m. German time when Tamberi, as the last jumper in the men’s final, has it in his hand – or rather in his calves – to become the sole Olympic champion. 2.39 meters are on, but the Italian fails like before Barshim and Maksim Nedasekau from Belarus, who won bronze, on the height.
“Can we both have gold?”
What follows then develops into the most beautiful emotional outburst of the evening. Tamberi, who at this point has the same number of unsuccessful attempts as Barshim, approaches his opponent, one embraces when a competition judge approaches her. You can continue jumping, he explains, but is quickly interrupted by Barshim: “Can we both have gold?” That is possible, the official continues, “if you ..”. He doesn’t get any further.
Both athletes step aside, look at each other before Barshim says: “Let’s make history.” Tamberi doesn’t hesitate for a second, strikes and jumps at the Qatar exuberantly – pure joy, pure emotion.
A recording of the sports show on Twitter shows the outburst of emotion:
Never two Olympic champions in high jump
Because there have never been two Olympic champions in a high jump final, they also secured an additional entry in the history books. After bronze in London (2012) and silver in Rio (2016), Barshim now also has a full set of medals. Tamberi, meanwhile, was able to at least forget a bit of a black moment in his career: The 29-year-old was considered the top favorite for gold for the games in Rio, but ultimately had to pass due to a serious ankle injury.
After winning the gold medal, just a few minutes later the Italian had every reason to cheer in the Tokyo circuit when compatriot Lamont Marcell Jacobs sprinted over 100 meters to become the fastest man in the world. Tamberi jumped into his arms too, still in a state of ecstasy. The next scene that the Flashbacks should make it through.