World Athletics Championship star faceplants water pit as fans dub him ‘showman’

Maverick Italian athlete Gianmarco Tamberi has won a legion of fans after celebrating his high jump gold medal at the World Athletics Championship by faceplanting into a water pit.

The 31-year-old entertained the crowd inside the National Athletics Centre in Budapest, Hungary by ducking under the bar on his final jump, knowing he'd already won gold, and running off down the field for a victory lap.

Such was his excitement that 3,000m steeplechase gold and bronze medal winners Soufiane El Bakkali and Abraham Kibiwot got swept up in the celebrations, and joined Tamberi by leaping into one of the water pit hurdles on the side of the track.

The steeplechasers opted for a safe bum-first jump, but Tamberi decided to dive head and torso first into the pool, with fans on social media branding him a "showman" and "an absolute character".

READ MORE: Italian high jumper who secured historic gold sets off airport metal detector with medal

"I love watching Gianmarco Tamberi jump he is a breath of fresh air," one X (formerly Twitter) user wrote.

Another said: "Showman once, showman always," while a third beamed: "What an absolute character Gianmarco Tamberi is. It's a real pleasure watching him, especially when he wins."

Apart from Usain Bolt, who is the greatest 'showman' in athletics? Let us know in the comments section below.

A fourth added: "Bravissimo," while a fifth fan wrote: "Slightly nuts, but, athletics needs characters like Gianmarco!"

Tamberi, who is known for competing with a half-shaven face on occasion, is no stranger to winning gold, having finished first in the high jump at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games two years ago – though the medal was shared with Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim after the two ended up with the same score.

He also won gold at the European Championships in Munich in 2022 and did the same at the European Team Championships in Chorzow, Poland earlier this year.

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