Mutaz Essa Barshim (Arabic: معتز عيسى برشم, romanizedMuʿtazz ʿĪsā Baršim; born 24 June 1991) is a Qatari track and field athlete who competes in the high jump and is the current Olympic Champion (2020). He is also the current World Champion and second highest jumper of all-time with a personal best of 2.43. He won gold at the 2017 World Championships in London and at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. At the Olympics, Barshim originally won the full set of medals with bronze at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, silver at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, and shared gold at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. In 2021, his bronze in the London 2012 Summer Olympics was promoted to silver in a three-way tie for second due to disqualification of the original gold medalist. He was the Asian Indoor and World Junior champion in 2010, and won the high jump gold medals at the 2011 Asian Athletics Championships and 2011 Military World Games. He holds the Asian record in high jump.

Mutaz Essa Barshim
Mutaz Barshim in 2011
Personal information
Born (1991-06-24) 24 June 1991 (age 32)[1]
Doha, Qatar
Height1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)[1]
Weight65 kg (143 lb)[1]
Event(s)High jump
Achievements and titles
World finals
  • 2011 Daegu
  • High jump - 7th
  • 2013 Moscow
  • High jump -  Silver
  • 2015 Beijing
  • High jump - 4th
  • 2017 London
  • High jump -  Gold
  • 2019 Doha
  • High jump -  Gold
  • 2022 Eugene
  • High jump -  Gold
  • 2023 Budapest
  • High jump -  Bronze
Olympic finals
  • 2012 London
  • High jump -  Silver
  • 2016 Rio de Janeiro
  • High jump -  Silver
  • 2020 Tokyo
  • High jump -  Gold
Highest world ranking1 (weeks 23)
Personal best(s)
  • Outdoor
  • High jump: 2.43 m (7 ft 11+12 in) AR (Brussels 2014)
  • Indoor
  • High jump: 2.41 m (7 ft 10+34 in) AR (Athlone 2015)

Mutaz jumps off his left foot, using the Fosbury Flop technique, with a pronounced backwards arch over the bar, he achieves this by looking over the landing mat. One of his brothers, Muamer, is also a high jumper.

Biography Edit

Early life Edit

Barshim was born in Doha in a Sudanese family. He has five brothers and a sister. His father was also a track and field athlete, which is why almost all of the Barshim children became active in this sport, except for Meshaal Barsham who later became a football goalkeeper. Barshim tried running and long jumping in his youth. He said in an IAAF interview, "I grew up, nothing special, like any kid in Qatar. I joined a club because my father was going to the club training so sometimes he used to take me there with him. I knew athletics because of my father." He attended an Arabic school in Doha, where he learned to speak English. Aged 15, he switched to high jump because it looked more fun.[2] He began training in Doha at the Aspire Academy. He finished training at ASPIRE in 2009, when his personal best was 2.14 m. In September 2009, he met his new (and current) coach from Poland/Sweden Stanisław "Stanley" Szczyrba who started to train him in Doha. He has been his coach since and as Barshim said, "He is more than a coach, we are like father and son." During the summer season in Europe, they spent time at Szczyrba's home in Warsaw, Poland, and they also trained in Sweden so that Barshim did not have to waste time flying to and from Qatar between competitions.[3][4]

Barshim enjoyed his first international successes in 2010. He set an indoor Qatari record in Gothenburg in early February with a jump of 2.25 m,[5] and then went on to take the gold medal at the 2010 Asian Indoor Athletics Championships, winning with a clearance of 2.20 m.[6] He was selected to represent Qatar at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha and his performance of 2.23 m left him in fourteenth place in the qualifying round.[7] These feats made him the first ever graduate of the ASPIRE Academy competing at the World Championships as well as holding the national record in an Olympic sport.[8] In May 2010, Barshim won the Arab Athletics Championships for Juniors in Cairo, clearing an outdoor best of 2.23 m, and then went on to secure the continental junior title at the 2010 Asian Junior Athletics Championships. His winning mark at the competition (2.31 m) was a national record and a world-leading mark for junior athletes[9] – and it was also the best jump by a junior since Huang Haiqiang cleared 2.32 m in 2006.[10] He went on to win at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics in Moncton, winning with a height of 2.30 m.[11]

2011 Edit

He won gold in the Asian Athletics Championships in Kobe after clearing a height of 2.35 m, a new national and championship record.[12] He continued his good form and won a gold medal at the Military World Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with a 2.28 m clearance.[13] He made his debut on the global senior stage at the 2011 World Athletics Championships in Daegu and reached the final, missing a medal on count-back and ranking seventh overall. He became high-jump champion at the Gulf Council Championships and the Arab Championships before capping off his year with yet another international gold medal at the 2011 Pan Arab Games held on home soil in Doha.[14]

2012 Edit

At the 2012 indoor Asian Championships, held in Hangzhou, China, on 19 February 2012, Barshim won the gold medal and established a new personal best (and national record) of 2.37 m (7'9.25"), breaking the previous championship record of 2.34: it was also the highest indoor jump in the world, to date in 2012.[15] He began jumping at 2.10 and had first try clearances at 2.15, 2.20 and 2.24, before missing once at 2.28, temporarily falling to second place when Chinese jumper Zhang Guowei cleared on his first try. Zhang then failed at 2.31, while Barshim resumed his flawless jumping with first try clears at 2.31, 2.34 and 2.37. He then failed in three attempts at 2.40.

Barshim on the 2012 Olympic podium

At the 2012 Olympic Games, held in London, United Kingdom, on 7 August, Barshim won the bronze medal with a jump of 2.29, finishing in a 3-way tie for third place with Derek Drouin from Canada and Robert Grabarz from Great Britain.[16][17] In 2019 the winner of the competition, Ivan Ukhov, was stripped of the gold medal by the Court of Arbitration in Sport for doping offences and in 2021 Barshim, alongside Drouin and Grabarz, were promoted to joint silver medals for the event.

Barshim suffered a back injury in early 2012 and (later) said he was not healthy at the London Olympics. The problem was found to be a stress fracture in the fifth (L5) Lumbar vertebrae. In an interview for the IAAF in April 2013, Barshim said: "It started hurting bad before the (2012) World Indoor Championships and then I had to stop for a bit. Before the Olympics, I had to stop again, but we have a really good sports center in Doha and I also received treatment in Warsaw."[3]

2013 Edit

Barshim began his 2013 season indoors, in Sweden, in mid-January. He entered six competitions in Europe in 3 and a-half weeks, always jumping 2.30 or better and winning five out of the six competitions, before his back injury forced an early end. His season-best of 2.37 matched his career indoor best and was the highest in the world indoors in 2013.

Barshim celebrating a clearance at the 2013 World Championships

He started with two "smaller" competitions in Sweden, jumping 2.30 on 13 January, and then an (early) world-leading 2.33 (7' 7 3/4") in Växjö on 20 January. He then competed in the invitation-only Moravia High Jump Tour, finishing 2nd (on misses) behind Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov as both jumped 2.30 in Hustopece on 26 January. Then Barshim won the second leg at Trinec on 29 January, tying the meet the record of 2.34. On 3 February, he won the Russian Winter Games in Moscow with yet another world-leading jump of 2.37 – which also tied his Asian indoor record from 2012 – ending that competition with a narrow miss at 2.40. He then flew to the Europa SC High Jump competition in Banska Bystrica, Slovak Republic, where his aching back restricted his jumps. In one of the strongest fields of the year, five jumpers cleared 2.30. Barshim began at 2.15, next cleared 2.30, then passed until 2.36 where his 3rd attempt clearance (only his fifth jump overall) gave him the win.[18]

Barshim's indoor season ended on 6 February as he did not want to risk further injury, hoping to be able to thrill his hometown fans when the IAAF's Diamond League opens 2013's outdoor season in Doha on 10 May.

Mutaz started his outdoor season on 10 April 2013 with an "appearance" at the GCC Athletics Championships held at Doha's Khalifa International Stadium. He took only two jumps, casually running in from almost half the distance of his usual approach to clear 2.19 meters with his first attempt and then improving to 2.25 with his second. Having clinched the win, he quit to avoid hurting his back. His younger brother Muamer took second place with a jump of 2.16.[19]

At the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League Meet in Eugene, Oregon (1 June 2013), Barshim won, being one of 3 men to clear 2.36 (7'8 3/4"), a new met record. Barshim was in the lead with no misses. After everyone missed their attempts at 2.39, Barshim, jumping last, saved his final (third) attempt for one try at new personal best of 2.40 (7' 10") and made it. He became the 8th man in history to have cleared 2.40 outdoors, and the first since 2000. His best result in 2013 was a silver medal at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Moscow, Russia.[4]

2014 Edit

Barshim jumped sparingly during the 2014 Indoor season because of chronic back pain. Nonetheless, he entered the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland on 8 and 9 March as favorite to medal, behind heavily favored Russian jumper Ivan Ukhov. In the Finals on Sunday 9 March, Barshim was sensational, clearing 7 consecutive heights on his first attempt, including a new Asian indoor record of 2.38m (7' 9-3/4"). Ukhov required 3 attempts to clear that height and when both men failed at 2.40m, Barshim won the gold medal, while Ukhov took silver based on the tie-breaking count-back (misses). The 22-year-old Qatari has now won a medal at the last 3 major competitions: bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, silver at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, and gold at the 2014 World Indoor Championships in Sopot.

In early May, when the IAAF Diamond League came to his home, he had to watch as Ukhov not only bested him but moved up to equal the third highest jump ever 2.41m, while Mutaz was relegated to fourth behind Derek Drouin and Erik Kynard. On 5 June in Rome, he reversed that result, joining the group equal to third best ever at 2.41 while Ukhov finished in fifth behind the same athletes and Bohdan Bondarenko (who is also part of the group from 2013).

A week and a half later, at the Adidas Grand Prix, Icahn Stadium, New York City, Barshim and Bondarenko were locked in a tight competition. On his first attempt at 2.42m, Barshim cleared and improved his personal best and his own Asian Continental record, while setting the Diamond League record with a 2014 world-leading leap equaling Patrick Sjöberg's former world record from 1987 as the second best outdoor jump in history. Moments later Bondarenko equaled Barshim's jump, also on his first attempt. Ukhov and Carlo Thränhardt (1988) have also jumped that height under the more controlled conditions indoors. Barshim then missed his first attempt at 2.44m. Ahead on misses, Bondarenko decided to pass at 2.44m and as a result, Barshim also passed on his remaining jumps at 2.44m and the bar was then raised to 2.46m, one centimeter above the existing world record height of 2.45m set on 27 July 1993, by Javier Sotomayor of Cuba. Both jumpers took combined five attempts at the world record height with Barshim coming closest to clearing the height on his first attempt.[20] Bondarenko and Barshim's jumps are the best in the world since Javier Sotomayor of Cuba cleared 2.42m in Seville on 5 June 1994. Only Sotomayor, on four occasions, has jumped higher than these two men.[21] The two men also made multiple attempts at the record in the final Diamond League meet of the 2014 season in Brussels. Barshim again coming closest in his final attempt, clipping the bar with his heel. He won the competition with a PB of 2.43 giving him the status of being the second highest jumper of all time, behind Sotomayor's two record jumps of 2.44 and 2.45.[22]

In the same year Mutaz also won at the 2014 Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Hangzou, China and the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.[4]

2015 Edit

In 2015, Barshim won the IAAF Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon which is also known as the Prefontaine Classic.[4]

2016 Edit

Barshim again competed for Qatar in the Olympic Games, and earned a silver medal in high jump.[23] That year he also won the IAAF Diamond League stops in Lausanne, Switzerland and Birmingham.[4]

2017 Edit

Barshim competed for Qatar in the IAAF World Championships, and won the gold medal in high jump. The defending World and Olympic Champion, Derek Drouin of Canada was injured and did not participate.[24] Additionally, he also won the IAAF Diamond League stops in Zurich, Birmingham, Paris and Shanghai in 2017.[4]

2018 Edit

In February, at the 24th Banska Bystricia High-Jump Meet his winning streak ended after 12 first places, where he landed in second place.[25] At the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, UK he placed second as well. In the same year he won the IAAF Diamond League stops in Oslo and Eugene as well as the 8th Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Tehran, Iran.[4]

Mutaz Barshim presents high jump co-winner Gianmarco Tamberi with his gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

2019 Edit

In October, Barshim became the first man to defend the World high jump title when he won in his home city of Doha with a world leading jump of 2.37m.

2021 Edit

Barshim won the Olympic gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in the high jump event, the first gold medal for Qatar in athletics (and second in any sport, after weightlifter Fares El-Bakh, who won gold in the 96 kg just one day before Barshim). He is a joint gold medal winner, as he and Italian Gianmarco Tamberi cleared a height of 2.37 m in their first attempt and subsequently failed to clear 2.39 m.[26] Both Tamberi and Barshim agreed to share the gold medal in a rare instance in Olympic history where the athletes of different nations had agreed to share the same medal.[27][28] After the failed jumps Barshim asked the referee "Can we have two golds?" and when hearing the answer was yes, embracing Tamberi saying "History, my friend".[29]

Competition record Edit

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
2010 Asian Indoor Championships Tehran, Iran 1st 2.20 m
World Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 14th (q) 2.23 m
Asian Junior Championships Hanoi, Vietnam 1st 2.31 m NR
World Junior Championships Moncton, Canada 1st 2.30 m
Asian Games Guangzhou, China 1st 2.27 m
2011 Asian Athletics Championships Kobe, Japan 1st 2.35 m NR
World Championships Daegu, South Korea 7th 2.32 m
Pan Arab Games Doha, Qatar 1st 2.30 m
2012 Asian Indoor Championships Hangzhou, China 1st 2.37 m AR
World Indoor Championships Istanbul, Turkey 9th 2.28 m
Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 2nd 2.29 m
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 2nd 2.38 m
2014 Asian Indoor Championships Hangzhou, China 1st 2.36 m
World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland 1st 2.38 m AR
Asian Games Incheon, South Korea 1st 2.35 m
2015 Asian Championships Wuhan, China 3rd 2.20 m
World Championships Beijing, China 4th 2.33 m
2016 Asian Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 1st 2.35 m
World Indoor Championships Portland, United States 4th 2.29 m
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2nd 2.36 m
2017 World Championships London, England 1st 2.35 m
2018 Asian Indoor Championships Tehran, Iran 1st 2.38 m
World Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 2nd 2.33 m
2019 World Championships Doha, Qatar 1st 2.37 m
2021 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan 1st 2.37 m
2022 World Championships Eugene, United States 1st 2.37 m

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c "Mutaz Essa Barshim". OlyMADmen. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  2. ^ Mutaz Barshim, archived from the original on 25 November 2020, retrieved 30 April 2019
  3. ^ a b Qatari Hero: Mutaz Essa Barshim – IAAF Diamond League, One Month to Go Archived 24 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine; 12 April 2013 feature interview conducted by Paul Gains for the IAAF; accessed 13 April 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Mutaz Barshim". Red Bull. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  5. ^ Mutaz Essa Barshim at Tilastopaja (registration required)
  6. ^ Krishnan, Ram. Murali (26 February 2010).Singh takes Shot Put gold for India – Asian Indoor champs day 2 Archived 24 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-07-05.
  7. ^ 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships – Men's High Jump Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF. Retrieved on 5 July 2010.
  8. ^ ASPIRE Proud Sponsor of the Toulon International Youth Football Festival Archived 4 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. ASPIRE (19 May 2010). Retrieved on 2010-07-05.
  9. ^ Krishnan, Ram. Murali (5 July 2010). Barshim scales 2.31m in Hanoi – Asian junior championships Archived 26 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-07-05.
  10. ^ High Jump junior 2006 Archived 18 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF (19 January 2007). Retrieved on 2010-07-05.
  11. ^ Barshim takes High Jump gold to Qatar Archived 26 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF (24 July 2010). Retrieved on 2010-07-25.
  12. ^ "News | World Athletics". Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  13. ^ Kurdyumova, Yelena & Porada, Sergey (24 July 2011). Strong showing by Kenya at the World Military Games in Rio de Janeiro Archived 3 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-19.
  14. ^ Georgiotis, Vasileios (21 December 2011). Qatar's young guns shine in Doha – Arab Games report Archived 16 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-12-21.
  15. ^ 5th Asian Indoor Championships, Press Release, Final Results, Asian Athletics Association Archived 23 September 2018 at the Wayback Machine; Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  16. ^ Men's High jump. "Men's High Jump - Olympic Athletics | London 2012". Archived from the original on 10 August 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.. Retrieved on 8 August 2012.
  17. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Mutaz Essa Barshim". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 4 December 2016.
  18. ^ Europa SC High Jump Archived 14 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine; "Barshim 236 in fifth jump of the day"; accessed 13 April 2013.
  19. ^ Barshim's joy doubled by brother's success Archived 14 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine; Gulf Times news report 10 April 2013.
  20. ^ "Men's High Jump". Archived from the original on 14 June 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  21. ^ "Bondarenko and Barshim both clear 2.42m in New York – IAAF Diamond League | REPORT | World Athletics". Archived from the original on 17 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Facebook. Archived from the original on 23 September 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "Mutaz Essa Barshim wins Qatar's first Olympic silver medal in men's high jump". Archived from the original on 7 December 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  24. ^ Mitch Phillips (13 August 2017). "Athletics: Barshim sails to dominant world high jump gold". Reuters. Archived from the original on 14 August 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  25. ^ "Mutaz Barshim looses, Maria Lasitskene clears 2.02 meters - RunBlogRun". 7 February 2018. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  26. ^ "'Can we have 2?' Barshim, Tamberi share HJ gold". 1 August 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  27. ^ "WATCH : "Can we have two gold" Two players share Gold after tie in Olympics". NewsWire. 1 August 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  28. ^ "Tokyo 2020 news - Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi make shock decision to share high jump gold". Eurosport. 1 August 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  29. ^ "High jumpers agree to share Olympic gold". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 August 2021.

External links Edit

Preceded by Men's High Jump Asian Record Holder
1 June 2013 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by Men's Track & Field News Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Sporting positions
Preceded by Men's High Jump Best Year Performance
alongside   Danil Lysenko (2018)

Succeeded by
  Maksim Nedasekau
and five other athletes (indoors)