Tokyo Olympics: high jump ends with unprecedented shared gold

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Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi celebrates winning gold in the high jump at the Tokyo Olympics.
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Sports can be fierce. Sport can be cheeky. But sometimes sports also deliver moments that rekindle your faith in humanity.

Yesterday the high jump event at the Tokyo Olympics made for such a moment.

Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy were the last men in the men’s high jump final on Sunday. Both had successfully crossed the 2.37 meters and both also was unable to run 2.39 meters and used all three attempts.

Which was a mystery. Who wins? Officials offered Barshim and Tamberi two options. They could participate in the jump-off, to determine a winner, or they could share the gold medal.

They chose to share the gold medal and the moment they did is arguably the most salutary moment of the Tokyo Olympics yet…

“Can we have twice gold?” asked Barshim. The answer was yes.

Some shots in the wake of the decision show just how much it meant to these two athletes.

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The moment both athletes realized they could share gold.

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Gianmarco Tamberi had missed the last Olympics due to an injury.

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Barshim celebrates his victory.

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“I look at him, he looks at me and we know it. We just look at each other and we know, that’s it, it’s done. It’s not necessary,” Barshim said in an interview afterwards.

“He is one of my best friends, not only on the track, but also off it. We work together.”

Online, people reacted to one of the most emotional moments of the Tokyo Olympics yet.

Sports is good.

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