Barshim thrills with high jump gold at IAAF World Athletics Championships
All eyes were on Qatar's incredibly talented high jumper, Mutaz Barshim last night as he took the field for the men's high jump final at the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Athletics Championships currently underway in Doha.
The 28-year-old defending champion delivered a stunning performance with a world lead jump of 2.37m, sending waves of joy among the cheering crowd.
Not only did the legendary athlete earn Qatar its first gold medal at the championships but also retained his world champion title, becoming the first man in the IAAF World Athletics Championships history to successfully defend a high jump title.
ألف ألف ألف مبروك والتهاني إلى مقام سيدي سمو الأمير المُفدى وإلى أهل قطر والمقيمين بفوز البطل العالمي #معتز_برشم بالذهب في نهائي الوثب العالي ..— جوعان بن حمد (@JoaanBinHamad) October 4, 2019
ذهب باسم قطر في إنجاز باسم العرب ???@mutazbarshim@IAAFDoha2019 pic.twitter.com/bhMzizJMPe
Two athletes competing as authorized neutral athletes were unable to match Barshim's heights and won the minor medals. Mikhail Akimenko took silver while Ilya Ivanyuk claimed the bronze.
"For me, it was just a dream," Barshim is quoted to have said by Reuters.
"I was not 100 percent ready but when I came here and [saw] all those people cheering for me, even if I was dying, if they take me from the wheelchair or ambulance I would do everything I can," he added.
سنة كاملة تفصل بين صورة إصابة البطل وصورة إصابة الهدف في #بطولة_العالم_لألعاب_القوى ..— جوعان بن حمد (@JoaanBinHamad) October 4, 2019
وبين اللحظتين جهود جبارة بذلها طاقم طبي وإداري يمتلك الكفاءة اللازمة والرغبة العارمة لإعادة تأهيل البطل معتز برشم ..
تحية للبطل المميز وشكراً الطاقم الرائع ..@mutazbarshim pic.twitter.com/uECth6mBUg
The gold is highly valuable and a true reflection of the determination of the once-in-a-generation athlete who had been laid low with an injury since last year.
Barshim had severely damaged his ankle last year in Hungary while attempting to break the all-time high world record of 2.45m achieved by Cuba's Javier Sotomayor.
Earlier in 2017, Barshim clinched the world champion title for men's high jump at the IAAF Worlds. He also collected the 2017 Athlete of the Year award.
World and Olympic champion Mutaz Barshim won Friday the high jump goal, as part of the World Athletics Championships that are taking place in Doha. The Qatari athlete defended the title he won in London back in 2017. #QNA— Qatar News Agency (@QNAEnglish) October 4, 2019
Winning the gold medal in Qatar was the biggest achievement of his sports career, Barshim has told Qatar News Agency (QNA).
He said that winning in Doha with his family present along with Qatari fans was very special, adding that it was their support that lifted him to the victory.
Barshim admitted that he was not fully fit competing, but what he lacked in physical fitness was balanced with his strong will and the fans' support.
Barshim stressed that he did not look to break a new record yesterday, saying that his focus was on winning the gold medal even though he had two attempts left.
The Qatari athlete said that he did not worry about a potential injury recurrence while performing, as he had set his sights on the gold.
Barshim's victory is preceded by Aberrahman Samba's who won the bronze medal at the 400 meters hurdles earlier this week.
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Cover Image Credit: Twitter/ Alsharq_portal