At about 3 p.m., Nigeria time, the Olympic flame was slowly extinguished and the 2020 Olympic Games came to an end on Sunday in Tokyo.
The United States of America took the top spot just ahead of China as the Americans bagged 39 gold medals to China’s 38 and won 113 medals as compared to 88 for China.
Nigeria came in 74th with one silver and one bronze medal.
Otake Shinobu joined by the Suginami Junior Chorus sang Hoshi Meguri no Uta (A Stroll Among the Stars), as the Olympic Flame was slowly extinguished in the cauldron at the National Olympic Stadium.
“As the Olympic Flame was extinguished, the performers curled their hands into a ball, suggestive of prayers and how each and every one of us in the world similarly wishes for peace, prays for the souls of those who are no longer with us, and feels gratitude,” wrote the official Olympic website.
The U.S won both gold medals in the men’s and women’s basketball events, keeping a stranglehold on the events. The women won the gold for a seventh consecutive time while the men won for a fourth consecutive time. The U.S Women’s team could only take bronze as they performed below expectations in Tokyo.
Even though they had a below-average showing in the short sprints for both men and women; they won both 4x400m relay races. They also won 11 gold medals in swimming with Caeleb Dressel and Kathleen Ledecky the
standout performers. Dressel helped his American team to set world records in the Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay and the 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay.
The Chinese are coming as they showed by taking two gold medals in track and field events. Gong Lijiao and Liu Shiying won in the women’s Shot Put and Javelin respectively. They took seven gold medals in men and women’s diving events and also in men and women’s weightlifting. They were also dominant in table tennis-wing both the men’s and women’s singles as well as the team events.
Hosts Japan came in third with 27 gold medals followed by Great Britain which led the European table with 22 gold medals. Africa was led by Kenya, whose four gold medals gave them 19th place overall. The Kenyans won gold in the men and women’s marathon and added the men’s 800m and women’s 1,500m events. In all, they won four gold, four silver, and two bronze medals.
Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee president, praised the participating athletes for giving ‘soul’ to a spectator-less event. “After we had to accept the decision by the Japanese authorities to have no spectators, I must admit we were concerned that these Olympic Games could become an Olympic Games without soul,” Bach
said in his closing speech.
“But fortunately, what we have seen here is totally different. Because the athletes gave these Olympic Games a great Olympic soul. From what I experienced at the Olympic village and the competition sites; I must say that the atmosphere has been more intense than ever before.”
Bach added: “What we can see now is that these Games are coming at a moment where the world was longing for a symbol of hope.”
Attention now turns to the Paralympic Games, which is scheduled for August 24 to September 5.
The next Olympic Games is scheduled for Paris in 2024.
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