The Golden Falcon of Qatar fell short of winning his fourth consecutive gold title after prevailing at the London 2017, Doha 2019, and Eugene 2022 editions.
The superstar jumper’s long-time rival and friend, Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi won his first-ever world high jump title after a major comeback display at the event.
The Italian narrowly made his 2.28 qualifying jump at the beginning of the tournament but managed to jump a world lead of 2.36 metres to claim gold.
Finishing second on despite clearing the same height was America’s JuVaughn Harrison. Barshim followed in third place after failing his three attempts to clear the 2.36 metre bar.
Despite securing a medial, this is the first time Barshim has failed to be crowned champion at a main championship since finishing second at Rio 2016.
The Golden Falcon of Qatar faced heavy expectations to win the tournament after winning London 2017, Doha 2019, and Eugene 2022 editions.
“I consider this bronze as history,” Barshim said. “In any competition, our ambition is gold and victory, but this is sport. With this bronze, I became the only athlete in the history of the high jump to win five medals in the world championships and I am very proud.”
Speaking on his win, Tamberi said it was “just amazing”.
“I feel like a human being who beat some superheroes tonight,” he told France TV after the final, referring to Barshim and Harrison.
The achievement in Budapest takes Barshim’s tally of coloured medals in the world championships to seven – three gold, one silver, and one bronze at senior competitions, one gold indoors, and one gold at youth competitions.