Due to the global pandemic in 2020, Tokyo Olympics was postponed and there were lot of doubts if the event would be able to take place in 2021 or not. However, much to the delight of all the fans and athletes across the globe, the Games did happen and produced a spectacle of sporting extravaganza over the course of two weeks in the capital of Japan. From the opening ceremony on July 23 to the closing ceremony on August 8, the fans witnessed some extremely exciting sporting action.
As many as 205 nations (+EOR team) participated in the Games which featured around 11,090 athletes across 339 events in 33 sports (50 disciplines). From medal tally to memorable moments, here is the full round-up of Tokyo Olympics 2020:
USA finish at top of medal tally; India end at 48th position
After winning no medal on Day 1 in Tokyo, USA bounced back and ended the Games at top of the standings with 113 medals. As expected, China put on a brilliant show once again as they secured the second spot with 88 medals. The hosts - Japan - stunned everyone with their performances as they clinched the third spot with an outstanding tally of 58 medals.
It was also an extremely successful campaign for India as they clinched a record-breaking number of 7 medals which helped them finish at a respectable 48th position in the standings. Neeraj Chopra won the first-ever gold medal for India in athletics since independence as he joined Abhinav Bindra in the elite club of Indians to win Olympic gold in an individual event.
Mirabai Chanu got her redemption moment as she clinched a silver medal in weightlifting, while PV Sindhu entered the history books by securing an Olympic medal in back-to-back Games. Indian men's hockey team won their first medal since 1980 after they defeated Germany in the bronze medal match. While Ravi Dahiya and Bajrang Punia secured silver and bronze in wrestling, Lovlina Borgohain was the surprise package as she clinched a bronze medal in boxing.
Tokyo 2020 produced some memorable moments
One of the most memorable moments of the Games was seen in the men's high jump event. After nothing could separate Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi in the finals, the duo decided to share the gold medal. It was an absolutely heartwarming moment to see two friends, who battled their way through injuries, eventually standing at top of the Olympic podium together.
The women's 100m finals also produced an extraordinary result as the Jamaican trio of Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson took home the three medals on offer, making the clean sweep. In another viral moment during the Games, Australia's swimming coach Dean Boxall went absolutely berserk when Ariarne Titmus clinched a gold medal in the women's 400m freestyle finals. His wild celebrations and passion just summed up the significance of winning Olympic gold.
Philippines' Hidilyn Diaz breaking down in tears after winning the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in any sport (women’s 55-kg weightlifting event) was also a moment that will be cherished by fans for a lifetime.
Heartbreaking moments and upsets during the event
In sport, there is always a winner and a loser. While there is ecstasy and jubilance in one camp, there is a feeling of disappointment and anguish in the other. Tennis produced some shocking results as world no.1 players - Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic - succumbed to pressure and bowed out without winning any medal in Tokyo. While Japan's Osaka was the favourite to win a medal at home, Djokovic had a massive opportunity to push his case for winning a golden slam.
Talking about heartbreaks, the Indian contingent had to face quite a few in Tokyo. While the Indian women's team came agonizingly close to secure an Olympic medal, they just couldn't cross the line and were defeated by Great Britain 3-4 in the bronze medal match. Meanwhile, Indian golfer Aditi Ashok missed out on a historic Olympic medal by just one shot as she had to settle for a 4th place finish in the women's individual event.
2020 Olympics was nothing short of controversy
The event started under controversial circumstances with people in Japan expressing their dissatisfaction with the conduct of the Games during the pandemic. While things eased down a bit off the field, the drama continued on the field.
French boxer Mourad Aliev was disqualified by the officials under controversial circumstances during his bout against Great Britain's Frazer Clarke in men's super heavyweight quarter-finals. The 26-year-old refused to leave the ringside as he sat there in protest for the injustice against him. Even India's Mary Kom was eliminated from the Games after disputable decisions by the officials.
In one of the most talked-about moments, American gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the event in a shocking turn of events. The 24-year-old admitted that she was feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders as she pulled out of the Games citing mental health concerns, drawing mixed reactions from everyone. While some termed her as a 'quitter' and accused her of being selfish, the others hailed her for putting her mental health as a priority. Biles returned to participate in the balance beam final where she won the bronze medal.
It will be remembered as one of the most historic Games
Talking about the whole event in Tokyo, there is no doubt that it will go down in history as one of the most memorable editions of the Olympics considering it was being organized during a global pandemic. Although it was played inside closed doors without fans in the stadium, the entire world was glued to their TV screens throughout as the star athletes brought smiles to everyone's faces with some incredible performances.
In short, Tokyo 2020 will forever be remembered for the grit and determination shown by the athletes, overcoming mental and physical obstacles and putting up a show for everyone in the challenging hot and humid conditions in Japan.