Qatari high jump champion Barshim wins World Athletics Inspiration Award

© Qatar Olympic Committee
© Qatar Olympic Committee

Doha, Qatar, December 2, 2021: Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim won the Inspiration Award at the World Athletics Awards 2021 on Wednesday, December 1.

At a ceremony held virtually, Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy were jointly named winners of the Inspiration Award by the world governing body for their stirring act at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when they shared the high jump gold medal.

In awarding the prize, World Athletics said: “The shared high jump victory between Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi became one of the biggest talking points of the Olympic Games – not only for everything it represented in their own individual careers, having both battled serious injuries since the last Games, but mainly for the act of respect and sportsmanship between two friends.”

Barshim, who has won a gold medal and two silver medals from the last three Olympics for Qatar, said: “I hope to inspire more people to love our sport and maybe share a gold one day.”

Tamberi added: “I now call Mutaz like five times a week because I need to speak with him. I feel that now we are not just friends, we are really like blood brothers.”

The Qatar Olympic Committee in a Facebook post congratulated both athletes and acknowledged the World Athletics Inspiration Award was “in recognition of their decision to share the gold medal in 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

Olympic champions Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Karsten Warholm of Norway were named World Athletes of the Year.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, congratulating all winners in the various categories, said: “As a sport, we are in an incredibly strong position. 2021 has been an excellent year. We cemented our position as the number one Olympic sport coming out of Tokyo, we have the most God-given talented athletes on the planet and our sport is the most accessible of all sports. Thank you to all our athletes around the world.”