[VIDEO] Historic Men's High Jump Final Sees Long-Time Friends Share Olympic Gold

This is the first time it has happened in 113 years.

Cover image via @bubbaprog (Twitter) & Inside The Games

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After an inseparable Men's High Jump final performance at Tokyo 2020, Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi agreed to share top spot

Both athletes had posted a games-high clearance of 2.37m without a single failure in all of their jumps.

After they had both failed to clear the 2.39m bar, they were in the midst of being briefed of the jump-off rules when the Qatari interjected, "Can't we have two golds?"

To which the official replied, "Is possible..."

At that point, the two athletes looked at each other in jubilation, with Tamberi leaping onto Mutaz in what is now an iconic Olympic moment.

Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus had also cleared 2.37m, setting a national record for his country, but missed out on the opportunity of a jump-off (and subsequent gold) due to a previous failure.

The two athletes are long-time friends

In a 2018 op-ed in Spikes magazine, the Italian had waxed lyrical about how Mutaz helped him escape a mental block he faced after breaking his ankle two years prior, dubbing their relationship as "really close".

"With Mutaz especially I built a great relationship. I remember... I did really bad in (the IAAF 2017 Diamond League) Paris, really awful," said Tamberi.

"The day after Mutaz started knocking on my room and he wouldn't go away... We talked. I cried in front of him... The most important thing he helped me realise was that I had to do it for myself, not for others."

"To share it with this dude, I can't be more happy," shared Mutaz after the Tokyo 2020 final.

Image via Eurosport
I was putting pressure on myself, felt like I have to jump for the people that helped me. And that's what Mutaz told me: you don't jump for them, you have to jump for yourself. For you.
Gianmarco Tamberi, on the advice Mutaz Barshim gave him in 2017

This is the first time in 113 years that an Olympic gold medal for athletics has been shared

At the 1908 Olympics in London, Edward Cook and Alfred Gilbert of the USA had shared the gold for men's pole vault. The latter had hit a 3.71m clearance in the final, but Cook shared the gold after clearing that height in qualifying.

The most recent instance of an Olympic medal being shared for athletics is 2012, where three men shared the bronze for the men's high jump. Mutaz was one of the recipients.

At London 2012, Russian Ivan Ukhov had actually taken gold in the men's high jump, but was later stripped of the title in 2019 in the infamous contingent wide doping scandal.

Image via AFP/ESPN

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