Italy’s Gianmarco ‘Gimbo’ Tamberi won the gold medal in the high jump at the world athletics championships in Budapest on Tuesday night.
The 31-year-old from Civitanova Marche thus claimed the only title missing from his trophy cabinet. He has won Olympic gold (jointly with Barshim in Tokyo), a world indoor title and two European championships.
Sporting his old lucky half-beard for the first time since before Tokyo, he succeeded his great friend and rival as world outdoor champion.
Tamberi, captain of the Italian athletics team, jumped 2.36 metres at his first attempt. He beat American JuVaughn Harrison.
In Budapest, the three-time world outdoor champion Barshim had to settle for bronze with 2.33m.
The Italian scraped through to the final with a last-gasp clearance at 2.28m in qualifying. His seaspn has been patchy, and Tuesday was no different. He entered the competition with a first-time failure at 2.25m. However, as both he and Harrison failed all three attempts at 2.38m, the Italian won on countback for his first-time clearance at 2.36m.
“I feel like a human beating superheroes,” he said. Tamberi enjoyed several victory laps and hugged his wife and team in the arena, wrapped in the Italian flag.