Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi embody Olympic spirit

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 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Who said there is only room for one athlete at the top of the podium?

Embodying the spirit of the Olympic Games, Qatar’s icon Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s showman Gianmarco Tamberi each earned a gold medal after a gentleman’s agreement in the men’s high jump final in Tokyo on Sunday.

Both cleared 2.37 metres and, when neither athlete was able to get over 2.39, they were given the option leave with gold or risk it all on a jump-off.

The pair looked more than happy to share the glory, with Tamberi howling in delight and rolling around the track, having missed out on competing in Rio five years ago due to injury.

Barshim added gold to the bronze and silver he won in 2012 and 2016 respectively, while Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus took bronze.

Both men looked more than content to share the glory (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Both men looked more than content to share the glory (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The decision to share the medal was overwhelmingly well received on social media.

Team GB athlete Eilish McColgan tweeted: “Such an incredible moment. Two of the nicest people in our sport sharing gold.”

British high jumper Emily Borthwick added: “I’m not crying, you’re crying.”

Athletics performance coach Steve Magness said on his Twitter account: “The sharing of the Olympic gold from Barshim and Tamberi and emotional outlet right after from both is what it’s all about. What a moment in the high jump.”

USA Track and Field tweeted: “Love the sportsmanship from Italy and Qatar in the men’s high jump final!”

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