San Francisco Chronicle

Friends are jubilant at being able to share gold in high jump


The Italian high jumper leaped into his rival’s arms, then bellyflopp­ed onto the hard track, rolled around a few times and screamed.

Gianmarco Tamberi was just getting warmed up, too. It’s not every day you tie your good friend for gold.

Tamberi and Mutaz Barshim of Qatar agreed to the tie Sunday at the Tokyo Games in a competitio­n settled not by clearing the top height but through a subtle nod.

“I still can’t believe it happened,” Tamberi said. “Sharing with a friend is even more beautiful.”

In a huddle with track officials, the athletes were given the option to settle the tie with a jumpoff. Barshim had a better idea: How about two golds? The official said that was possible. Barshim nodded and Tamberi accepted.

It stressed sportsmans­hip, too. “This is beyond sport,” Barshim said. “This is the message we deliver to the young generation.”

Both high jumpers were perfect until the bar was set to the Olympicrec­ord height of 2.39 meters (7 feet, 10 inches). Each missed three times.

They actually talked about this sort of situation before. Not in great detail, though. “We just said, ‘Imagine,’ ” Barshim recalled. “Today, it happened.” More sportsmans­hip: Hungary’s Luca Kozak tripped on a hurdle and looked over three lanes to see a Jamaican opponent, Yanique Thompson, had suffered the same fate. Kozak helped her back to her feet.

In the men’s 800 semis, Isaiah Jewett, from Inglewood (Los Angeles County), tangled feet with Botswana’s Nijel Amos; both tumbled. They helped each other up and jogged to the end.

“I don’t want any bad blood, because that’s what heroes do — they show their humanity through who they are and show they’re good people,” Jewett said.

World’s fastest man: Marcell Jacobs won the men’s 100 meters, crossing in 9.8 seconds to bring the marquee sprint gold to Italy for the first time.

In a race with no clear favorites, Jacobs was a surprise. He was born in El Paso, Texas, the son of an American father and an Italian mother. His parents split when he was 6 months old, and he moved to Italy and never got to know his dad.

Jacobs was a longjump specialist for years.

“I think I need four or five years to realize and understand what’s happening,” Jacobs said.

The Italian crossed the line in 9.8 seconds to capture Italy’s first 100meter medal.

He topped America’s Fred Kerley, a 400meter runner who moved down in distance because he saw a medal chance, and Canada’s Andre DeGrasse. Kerley finished second in 9.84 and DeGrasse in 9.89.

“I really don’t know anything about him,” Kerley said of Jacobs. “He did a fantastic job.”

Other track and field gold:

Gong Lijao of China bested American Raven Saunders in the women’s shot put.

Saunders, who is Black and gay, wears an “Incredible Hulk” mask when she competes. She closed out the medals ceremony by lifting her arms above her head and forming an “X” with her wrists. “It’s the intersecti­on of where all people who are oppressed meet,” she explained.

⏩ Jasmine CamachoQui­nn of Puerto Rico powered ahead of American and worldrecor­d holder Keni Harrison to win the women’s 100meter hurdles. Jamaica’s Megan Tapper finished third.

⏩ Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece edged Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarria for the men’s long jump gold medal with a winning jump on the last attempt.

Tentoglou’s 8.41 meters in the last round equaled Echevarria’s best mark but he won on a countback because he had the better of the nextbest jumps.

Echevarria, jumping last, lost rhythm in his runup and stopped before the board, kneeled on the ground and hit the runway with his hands.

Qualifies after falling: World champion Sifan Hassan made an incredible recovery from a fall at the final bell to win her 1,500meter heat. Hassan picked herself up after getting in a tangle with Kenyan runner Edinah Jebitok at the start of the last lap. She sped around the outside of the pack on the back straight and ended up crossing the line first in 4 minutes, 5.17 seconds to qualify for the semifinals.

It kept alive the Dutch runner’s bid for a distance treble in Tokyo. She qualified to run in the 5,000meter final Monday. She’s expected to battle twotime world champ Hellen Obiri of Kenya for the 5,000 gold.

Flying leap: Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas didn’t need to look. The runway, the takeoff, the way she hit the sand — she knew she’d sealed her gold medal in the women’s triple jump with a world record.

Rojas broke the Olympic record in the first round of the final. She went through four more rounds before putting it all together, leaping 15.67 meters (51 feet, 5 inches) on her last try, besting the 15.50 by Inessa Kravets of Ukraine in 1995.

“I knew it was right there,” she said of her last jump. “I didn’t even have to look.”

Patricia Mamona of Portugal took silver with 15.01 meters. Ana Peleteiro, who trains with Rojas, won the bronze.

Belarus brouhaha: A Belarus sprinter alleged her Olympic team tried to remove her from Japan in a dispute that led to a standoff at Tokyo’s main airport. Activists supporting Krystsina Tsimanousk­aya said she believed her life was in danger in Belarus and would seek asylum with the Austrian Embassy.

“I was put under pressure and they are trying to forcibly take me out of the country without my consent,” the runner, 24, said on social media.

The Belarus Olympic committee has been led for two decades by authoritar­ian state president Alexander Lukashenko and his son, Viktor.

Tsimanousk­aya ran for Belarus on Friday. She placed fourth in her firstround heat in the 100 meters and did not advance.

Beach volleyball: April Ross and Alix Klineman (Stanford) put away a Cuban team they had never played before. Next up for the Americans is one of the most familiar faces in all of beach volleyball: fourtime Olympian — and defending gold medalist — Laura Ludwig. Ross and Klineman beat Lidy Echeverria and Leila Martinez 2117, 2115 in their knockoutro­und opener to reach the quarterfin­als, where they will meet the German and her current partner, Maggie Kozuch.

⏩ A Qatari pair that is ranked No. 1 in the world, Cherif Samba and Ahmed Tijan, beat Nick Lucena and 2008 gold medalist Phil Dalhausser 1421, 2119, 1511 in the first round of knockout play. The U.S. women’s team of Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes also lost in three sets.

Tennis: Fifthranke­d German Alexander Zverev routed Russia’s Karan Khachanov in the men’s singles final, 63, 61 for the biggest title of his career. “This is so much bigger than anything in the tennis world — in the sports world,” he said.

Men’s basketball: Luka Doncic had 12 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists and Slovenia edged Spain 9587 in a tense final game of men’s group play. That gave them the top seed from Group C.

Spain will play the Americans, putting its streak of three Olympic medals in jeopardy.

The other quarterfin­als: Group A winner France faces Italy (21); Group B winner Australia (30) plays Argentina (12), and Group C winner Slovenia (30) faces Germany (12).

Baseball: Oliver Perez, a majorleagu­e reliever for 19 years, allowed four runs in a third of an inning as Mexico was eliminated by Israel 125. He threw 21 pitches, the final pitches of his competitiv­e playing career.

Volleyball: The American men are going home early for the first time since 2000 in Sydney. The U.S. won two of its first three matches before losing to Brazil and Argentina to fall to fifth place in Pool B and miss out on the quarterfin­als. Argentina won 2521, 2523, 2523.

⏩ U.S. women’s star Jordan Thompson sat out the final pool match against Italy after rolling her right ankle. Thompson left Saturday’s match against Russia after stepping on a teammate’s foot. The U.S. was assured of a spot in the quarterfin­als.

Diving: American Krysta Palmer took bronze in 3meter springboar­d, behind China’s Shi Tingmao and Wang Han, who earlier combined to win springboar­d synchro. “They’re so consistent,” Palmer said.

Boxing: A French super heavyweigh­t sat on the ring apron in protest for about an hour after he was disqualifi­ed from his quarterfin­al bout because of an intentiona­l head butt.

Mourad Aliev reacted with outrage when referee Andy Mustacchio disqualifi­ed him with four seconds left in the second round Sunday. British opponent Frazer Clarke had significan­t cuts near both eyes.

“This was my way of showing that the decision was so unfair,” Aliev said. “I trained my whole life for this, and I came into here, and because of one referee’s decision, I lost. It’s over.”

 ?? Richard Heathcote / Getty Images ?? Friends Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar exult after sharing the gold medal in the high jump.
Richard Heathcote / Getty Images Friends Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar exult after sharing the gold medal in the high jump.

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