By Michael Pavitt |
The United States finished at the top of the Summer Olympics medal table for the third consecutive Games after triumphs on the final day of Tokyo 2020 saw the nation overtake China.
China had led the medals table throughout the Games, before Jennifer Valente’s women’s omnium triumph in track cycling, women’s basketball and volleyball gold medals pushed the US into top spot.
The US finished with 39 gold, 41 silver and 33 bronze medals, with their overall tally of 113 medals the largest number achieved by a nation at Tokyo 2020.
Sarah Hirshland, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) chief executive said: “We kept our team safe and we’re coming home successful.
“The Tokyo 2020 Games have been remarkable in so many ways and I’m filled with gratitude and pride.
“From the inspiring performances and perseverance of our athletes, to the incredible effort put forth by the organisers and people of Japan — these Games proved that the spirit of the Games is alive and renewed.
“Thank you, Japan, and thank you, Team USA, for representing the US with skill, strength and undeniable spirit.”
Swimming contributed significantly to the US’ final total with 11 gold medals, as well as 10 silver and nine bronze.
The US also secured seven gold medals in athletics, representing a fall from the 13 earned by the nation at Rio 2016.
Tokyo 2020 represented the first time the US men’s team failed to secure an individual gold medal on the track at the Olympics, barring the boycotted Moscow 1980 Games.
A total of 257 members of the 626 strong US team left the Games with medals, split between 164 women and 93 men.
“The athletes of Team USA honoured themselves, their communities, their families, and all of us with their excellent performances in Tokyo,” said Rick Adams, USOPC chief of sport performance and Chef de Mission.
“It’s the greatest honour of my career to serve as Chef de Mission here and I want to thank the athletes, coaches, national governing bodies and USOPC staff for coming together in truly complicated times.
“Tokyo 2020 was a great success for Team USA – in sport, in organisation, and in mental and physical well-being, and will serve as a guide for us as we look ahead to Beijing and beyond.”
China finished second with 38 gold, 32 silver and 18 bronze medals, while hosts Japan celebrated its most successful Games with 27 gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze medals.
Britain and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) rounded off the top five, winning 22 and 20 gold medals respectively.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.