TOKYO – The Italian high jumper jumped into his opponent’s arms, then belly-flopped onto the hard track, rolled around a few times and screamed.
Gianmarco Tambri was also warming up.
It’s not every day to tie your good friend to sleep.
Qatar’s Tambri and Mutaz Barshim agreed to tie at the Tokyo Games on Sunday in a contest that was finely decided not by clearing top height.
As for the degree of difficulty in the celebration, definitely the edge for Tambri. That’s not even counting all the hugs and kisses she delivers – or all of the people she jumps into her arms.
He was just as excited. It was that madness of the end.
“I still can’t believe this happened,” Tambri said. “It’s even more beautiful to share with a friend. … It was just magical.”
In a dispute with track officials, the athletes were given the option of settling the tie with a jump-off.
Barshim had a better idea: what about two golds?
The officer said it is possible.
Bershim nodded and Tambri immediately accepted, slapping Bershim’s hand and jumping into his arms. This will be far from his last celebration.
“As for me, coming here, I know for a fact that I deserve that gold for the performance I put in,” Bershim said. “He did the same, so I know he deserved that gold.”
It also emphasized sportsmanship – or so they hope. It also adds to Barshim’s Olympic medal collection, adding up well with a silver in Rio and another medal at the 2012 London Games.
“It’s beyond the game,” Bershim said. “This is the message we give to the younger generation.”
Both high jumpers were perfect until the bar was set at an Olympic-record height of 2.39 m (7 ft, 10 in). Missed each three times.
Funny, he actually talked about this kind of situation before. Although not in detail.
“We just said, ‘Imagine it,'” Bershim recalled. “Today, it happened.”
When Italian sprinter Marcel Jacobs surprisingly won the 100 meters a few minutes later, Tambri was there to greet him. There’s nothing more congratulatory to him than to celebrate by jumping into the runner’s arms and rolling his arm around Jacobs’ bald head.
“I was in ecstasy. My heart was bursting,” Tambri said. “I was just full of emotions and before coming to the block I just yelled at him and I backed him. I am the captain of the national team so I have to do something. Wanted to do
Tambri has kept the cast for five years – reminiscent of his broken ankle just before Rio. He was also in his best shape, which forced him to watch the Rio Games. When it came out, he wrote “Road to Tokyo 2020” on it. Then, he crossed out 2020 when the pandemic led to a postponement and wrote in red, “2021.”
“I told myself that day, ‘I want to come back to Tokyo and I want to fight for the gold medal,'” Tambri said.
They appeared to be having all kinds of fun during a competition in which Maksim Nedacekau of Belarus earned bronze. Tambri took an imaginary jump after clearing the height.
Bershim was a symbol of coolness in the colors that kept falling after he jumped. Once, he shooed them away even after a successful jump.
“I have 50 pairs,” Bershim said.
Now, a gold.
Another one for your friend too.
“He is one of my best friends. Not only on the track but off the track,” Barshim said. “We are almost always together. True spirit, sportsman spirit, coming here to give this message.
“Appreciate what he’s done, appreciate what I’ve done. It’s amazing.”
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