The Tokyo Olympics, which began a year late due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have officially concluded with a two-week sporting extravaganza. The world’s biggest sporting event ended yesterday with a colourful closing ceremony at Tokyo’s National Stadium at 4:30 pm Indian time. The next Olympics will be held in 2024 in the French capital, Paris.
The vibrant closing ceremony was held in a manner, which evokes Japan’s cultural uniqueness. The Indian flag was carried by Bajrang Punia, a bronze medalist in wrestling, while the Irish flag was carried by modern pentathlete Natalya Coyle.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach paid tribute to the athletes, saying: “Over the last 16 days you have amazed us with your sporting achievements, your excellence, your joy, your tears. You created the magic of these Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. You were faster, you went higher, you were stronger, because we all stood together in solidarity.
“For the first time since the pandemic began, the entire world came together. This gives us hope, this gives us faith in the future. The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are the Olympic Games of hope, solidarity and peace.”
“You, the best athletes of the world, could only make your Olympic dream come true because Japan prepared the stage for you to shine,” he said.
“You, the Japanese people, can be extremely proud of what you have achieved. On behalf of all the athletes, we say thank you Tokyo, thank you Japan.
The US topped the Tokyo Olympics, winning 113 medals, including 38 gold, 41 silver, and 33 bronze. China came in second with 88 medals, including 38 gold, 32 silver and 18 bronze.
Japan finished third with 58 medals, comprising 27 gold, 14 silver, and 17 bronze, while Great Britain came in fourth with 65 medals, including 22 gold, 21 silver, and 22 bronze.
Ireland is placed 39th in terms of medal count. The Irish team won four medals, including two gold and two bronze. This was the first time Ireland has won two gold medals in two different sports at the same Olympics.
Team Ireland’s medal hunt began with the victory in the women’s rowing by Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh, and Emily Hegarty. Ireland’s second medal was a gold, won by Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy in the men’s lightweight double sculls final.
Ireland grabbed its third medal of the Tokyo Olympics, but missed out on gold or silver after boxer Aidan Walsh was pulled out of his semi-final match owing to an ankle injury sustained while celebrating his quarterfinal victory. The fourth medal came from Kellie Harrington’s stunning victory in the lightweight boxing final. She won the second gold medal for Ireland in the Tokyo Olympics.
India is ranked 48th in terms of medal tally in the Tokyo Olympics. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, India was ranked 67th with two medals. The Tokyo Olympics also have the distinction of being India’s most successful Olympics in terms of medals won. Indian competitors took home seven medals, including a gold, two silver, and four bronze. India has surpassed the record of six medals won at the 2012 London Olympics.
India concluded the final day of its competitions at the Tokyo Olympics by making history when javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra won the country’s first medal in athletics, a gold medal! Neeraj became the only second Indian to win an individual Olympic gold medal after shooter Abhinav Bindra. Abhinav Bindra won gold in the rifle at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Mirabai Chanu in weightlifting and Ravi Kumar Dahiya in men’s 57 kg freestyle wrestling both won silver for India. PV Sindhu in badminton, Bajrang Punia in 65 kg freestyle wrestling and Lovlina Borgohain in boxing won individual bronze medals. The Indian men’s hockey team also earned a silver medal after reaching the hockey semifinals for the first time in 41 years. Despite losing in the semi-finals, they won the bronze medal match 5-4 against Germany.
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