Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Essa Barshim share high jump Olympic gold

Both athletes managed 2.37 metres on Sunday to share the top prize

Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy secured gold in the men's high jump competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, but had to share the medal with Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim after both men ended on 2.37 metres.

It was an incredible final as Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus also cleared the 2.37 mark. But he had more failed attempts, resulting in a bronze medal.

Barshim thus added Olympic gold to his list of accolades. At the 2012 London Games, Barshim won a bronze, which was later upgraded to silver. He took silver at the 2016 Olympics and then won successive world titles in 2017 and 2019.

Both Barshim, 30, and the 29-year-old Tamberi were clean at every attempt up to 2.37m. Both then missed all three attempts at the Olympic record of 2.39m.

"Can we have two golds?" Barshim asked him. The official nodded, and the two athletes celebrated.

South Korean Woo Sang-hyeok and Australian Brandon Starc, the younger brother of cricketer Mitchell, both cleared 2.35 to finish fourth and fifth respectively.

Barshim cleared 2.37m at his first attempt, sending his glasses flying.

Nedasekau tried to get the watching athletes and coaches in the stand worked up to create an atmosphere in the 68,000-capacity venue.

It worked a treat for him as he joined Barshim with a first attempt clearance at 2.37m.

Tamberi too cleared it. However, 2.39m became a height too far for the trio of medalists.

Barshim went closest with his third attempt. After knocking off the bar he applauded the onlookers.

Tamberi added Olympic gold to a world indoor and a European title, both in 2016 and celebrated exuberantly despite the absence of spectators at this pandemic-affected Games.

Updated: August 1st 2021, 2:43 PM