Heartbreak for Australia’s Brandon Starc as he falls agonisingly short of a medal as the Tokyo high jump ends with a VERY surprising – and uplifting – decision on who gets the gold
Australian high jumper Brandon Starc came within centimetres of gold at the Tokyo Olympics but fell agonisingly short at the crucial moment.
The Commonwealth gold medallist needed to beat his personal best leap of 2.36m for a shot at a medal on Sunday night, but topped out at 2.35m.
One attempt at 2.37m and two more at 2.39m proved too much for Starc, 27, who is the younger brother of Australian Test cricketer Mitchell Starc, 31.
Australian high jumper Brandon Starc (pictured) came within centimetres of gold at the Tokyo Olympics but fell agonisingly short at the crucial moment
Commonwealth gold medallist Brandon Starc (pictured) needed to beat his personal best leap of 2.36m for a shot at a medal on Sunday night, but topped out at 2.35m
It’s a second heartbreak for the Starc brothers, who lost their father Paul to cancer in February.
Brandon’s training plan for Tokyo was thrown into turmoil by the tragedy which came as he went through preparations at Canberra’s Institute of Sport.
But he returned from the heartache to make the trip to Tokyo.
He pushed rivals Italian Gianmarco Tamberi and Qatari Mutaz Essa Barshim to their limit as the pair shared gold with Maksim Nedasekau from Belarus taking bronze with Starc making the top five.
After three failures each at 2.39, Tamberi and Barshim ended up tied and entered a conversation with an Olympic official, who first offered them a ‘jump-off’ to decide the matter.
The Qatari asked ‘Can we not have two golds?’
The official responded ‘It’s possible if you both decide’ and before he had finished speaking Barshim offered Tamberi his hand to agree to sharing the gold and the pair shared an emotional hug before Tamberi wheeled away in celebration.
Gianmarco Tamberi won the gold medal in the men’s high jump along with Mutaz Essa Barshim
Barshim tied with Tamberi and the pair agreed to both take the gold medal when offered it
Both men were clean at every attempt to 2.37 meters and both missed all three attempts at the Olympic record of 2.39.
The 30-year-old Barshim was the silver medalist at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and was also on the podium at the 2012 London Games. He won the world championship gold medal at home in Qatar in 2019.
Gianmarco Tamberi is a former world indoor champion.