07 August, 2019

A high-altitude duel

Two years on, Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Barshim will do battle once again in the Charléty Stadium for the Meeting de Paris on 24 August. The previous duel in Paris, in 2017, was cut short when Tamberi, just back from a serious ankle injury, fluffed his three attempts at the first bar of 2.20m. However, it would be for another time.

Since then, Barshim has taken the win in each of their confrontations. In total, since the start of their career, the Qatari has won six of their eight clashes.

The competition on 24 August will be their first encounter in the 2019 season. The Italian secured the European indoor champion title in March in Birmingham (2.32m) but hasn’t quite got his bearings back yet at the start to the long summer season (4th in Rome). As for Barshim, he returned to the competition in late June following his ankle injury and should be able to raise his game before he gets to Paris, a meeting which has seen him excel (winner in 2017). Moreover, he equalled his season’s best (2.27m) in London in July. It promises to be a top-flight clash between them: the world and European indoor champion versus the double Olympic silver medallist and world champion 2017 is a confrontation that is set to be one of the headline acts of the Meeting de Paris. The two men might even try to get close to their personal bests (2.39m for Tamberi and 2.43m for Barshim). So, which of the two showmen will take the prize?