In a heartwarming show of sportsmanship, USA’s Katie Moon and Australia’s Nina Kennedy decided to share the gold medal for women’s pole vault at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday Aug. 23.
After a gruelling match that lasted more than two hours, Moon and Kennedy both cleared 4.90 meters but were both unsuccessful at clearing 4.95 meters after three tries each.
Instead of heading into a jump-off, the two women made a groundbreaking decision then – to split the gold medal.
“I didn’t think she’d want to share it, I thought we might have had to keep jumping,” Kennedy said. “But, you know, I kind of looked at her and said, ’Hey, girl, you maybe wanna share this?
“And the relief on her face – and you could see it on my face – and it was mutual. And yeah, absolutely incredible to share a medal with Katie Moon. You know, we’ve been friends for so long, so it’s super special,” she told reporters afterwards, according to Reuters.
This is the first time two athletes are sharing a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships.
It is the second consecutive time Moon, whose personal best is 4.95 meters, has won gold at the world championships.
Meanwhile, in clearing 4.9 meters, Kennedy broke not only her own record but also Australia’s by eight centimeters.
“To win a gold medal, it is just a dream come true. I knew I could get on the podium, but it was a miracle to get the gold,” Kennedy said.
“What a battle it was,” Moon said. “We both motivated each other. It was tiring but worth the effort. What an amazing night.”
The scenes were reminiscent of Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi deciding to share gold in the high-jump at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.