Here’s a Look Back At the World Records, Upsets and Highlights from the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics
The Tokyo Olympics have come to an end and after two weeks of sports and over 1,000 medals, we can finally take a step back look over some of the momentous events that occurred at the gather of athletes that happens once every four years — or in Tokyo’s case, five.
True, this year’s Olympic Games happened under unprecedented circumstances which delayed the event by a year, but the true essence of the Olympics was still shown countless times even in the presence of empty stadiums. This year’s top three countries from ascending order saw the United States with 39 gold medals (113 total), China with 38 gold (88 total), and finally Japan with 27 gold medals (58 total).
One standout occurrence at this year’s Games was that there were a healthy number of records broken along with several heart-warming incidents. While the number of records broken this year sits at 22, down from Rio’s 27, this number could have gone either way depending on how you look at it. Athletes did get an additional year of preparation and access to newer sports technology but many argue that, as the world was in disarray, fear of health issues and travel restrictions put a mental strain on Olympians — which makes these numbers even more impressive.
With the Olympics concluding just yesterday, we’ve decided to put together a list of some of the more memorable moments for those that didn’t get a chance to tune in live. This should help put you in the mood for the upcoming Paralympics scheduled for August 24 to September 9.
The First-Ever Street Skateboarding Olympics Event Took Place
Japan landed big in the first-ever Olympic skateboarding event. Bringing home gold in both men’s and women’s, Yuto Horigome edged out Brazil’s Kelvin Hoefler while 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya made history by becoming Japan’s youngest Olympic champion. In a surprising upset, USA’s four-time world champion Nyjah Huston couldn’t seem to get used to the heat in Japan and fell to seventh place in men’s overall.
Naomi Osaka Was Eliminated In Her Third Match
The No. 2-ranked (WTA) women’s tennis player, and face of the Tokyo Olympics, Naomi Osaka, was eliminated in her third match against Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova. While she dominated her first two opponents, her third match with Vondrousova saw the tennis star struggle to keep the ball in play where she eventually gave into the pressure and lost in straight sets of 6-1 and 6-4.
Lu Xiaojun Became the Oldest Weightlifting Champ at 37
One of the greatest to do it. Lu Xiaojun’s technique and teachings have been adopted all across the globe for efficient weightlifting. Known for his tremendous heart, Lu often goes head-to-head with younger lifters in his team for the sheer joy of competing. At 37, Lu went on record stating that this would most likely be his last Olympics and even commented on how the extra year of waiting for the Tokyo Games, going from 36 – 37, was felt negatively in his performance. Clearing 170kg in the snatch and 204kg in the clean and jerk (total 374kg) in the men’s 170-pound category, Lu cemented himself as the oldest man to win an Olympic gold medal in weightlifting.
Weightlifting saw a few world records broken with Lasha Talakhadze of Georgia breaking the 485kg total 2021 record in the men’s over 240lbs category with 488kg while China’s Shi Zhiyong broke the 364kg total in the men’s 161lb category with 364kg
The Philippines Won Its First-Ever Olympic Gold Medal
In close to 100 years, the Philippines have never tasted gold. That all changed with weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz. Competing in the women’s 55kg category, Diaz outmuscled China’s Liao Qiuyun by one kg in the clean and jerk for a 224kg total. Diaz has been training since 11 years of age while battling poverty growing up. Her heart and determination brought home a well-deserved gold.
The Race Track Was Ablaze With Numerous Records
This year’s track athletes broke a lot of personal bests. While runners have been attributing their new PRs to Mondo’s new track compound, fans were looking purely at the athletes.
The 100m race saw a lot of epic outcomes like Lamont Marcell Jacobs’ gold medal finish, China’s Su Bingtian becoming the first Chinese runner to make a 100m final, and even Jamaica’s insane women’s podium sweep. Andre de Grasse’s performance in the 200m was also equally impressive.
Records broken in the track category were:
Women’s 400m Hurdles (Sydney McLaughlin – USA) 51.46 (New) 51.90 (2021)
Men’s 400m Hurdles (Karsten Warholm – Norway) 45.94 (New) 46.70 (2021)
Women’s Triple Jump (Yulimar Rojas – Venezuela) 15.67 meters (New) 15.50 meters (1995)