Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Barshim of Qatar agreed to share a gold medal at the Tokyo Games on Sunday in a competition settled not by clearing the top height but with a subtle nod.
In a huddle with track officials, the high jumpers were given the option to settle the tie with a jump-off.
Barshim had a better idea: How about two golds?
The official said that was possible.
Barshim nodded and Tamberi instantly accepted, slapping Barshim’s hand and jumping to hug him.
It would be far from the last celebration the two athletes, who have been good friends since 2017, would have.
“For me, coming here, I know for a fact that for the performance I did, I deserve that gold,” Barshim said. “He did the same thing, so I know he deserved that gold. This is beyond sport. This is the message we deliver to the young generation.”
Both high jumpers were perfect until the bar was set to the Olympic-record height of 2.39m (seven feet, 10 inches).
Each missed three times. The rest is history.