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Tokyo Olympics: All the best stats from the 2020 Games

The 16 action-packed days of Tokyo 2020 have flown by.

We’ve had superb sporting drama, new heroes emerging, world records broken and plenty of history made.

So what are the stats to savour from this Olympic Games? BBC Sport and Nielsen Gracenote take a look…

US beats China to top table

USA top medal table again

The United States top the medal table for the sixth time in seven Olympic Games. At all seven, they have won the most medals.

Japan’s third place in the medal table – with 58 medals including 27 gold – is the country’s joint best with Tokyo 1964 when hosting and Mexico 1968.

Great Britain finished second in Rio 2016 and third in London 2012. However, this is Team GB’s second best performance at an overseas Olympics, after Rio (67 medals).

all time medal table

The rest

Australia return to the top six of the medal table for the first time since Beijing 2008.

Outside the top six countries, Italy had their best ever Summer Games with 40 medals, as did the Netherlands (36 medals), New Zealand (20 medals) and Brazil (21 medals). The Brazilians repeated Great Britain’s feat of improving on their medal total at the Olympics immediately after hosting.

Germany did not finish in the top six of the medal table for the first time since re-unification of East and West Germany in 1990. The last time there was no German team in the top six of the medal table was at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.

Tokyo top 10 athletes

World records

Norway’s Karsten Warholm ran an astonishing 45.94 second men’s 400m hurdles race to obliterate his previous world record and take gold at Tokyo 2020, in one of the moments of the Games. And Britain’s history-making swimming team set a new world record time in the 4x100m mixed medley relay.

But despite some pre-Games concern over shoe technology having too much sway in athletics especially, there were fewer records set in Japan.

Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Nielsen Gracenote, said: “The 22 world records broken in Tokyo is down on the 27 in Rio five years ago despite the addition of another sport, sport climbing, in which records can be broken. In weightlifting only four world records went – three to the same person Georgian super-heavyweight Lasha Talakhadze – compared to eight in Rio.”

where world records were broken

British strength in breadth

Pie chart showing where GB's medals came from
Team GB won medals in 25 different sport-disciplines in Tokyo – more than any other country. We’ve grouped some sports together for this chart

This was Britain’s best ever swimming performance.

Great Britain’s strength is in the number of sport-discipline combinations the country medals in. Medals were won by Team GB in 25 different sport-discipline combinations, breaking the record of 23 set at Rio 2016. Great Britain won medals in just 12 sport-discipline combinations as recently as Sydney 2000. Neither China nor USA won medals in as many sports as Great Britain.

Track cycling and athletics are the only sports in which Team GB have won at least four medals in at each of the last four Olympic Games.

Sports with 4+ medals Gold medals Total medals
Tokyo 2020 Swimming; Cycling – Track; Sailing; Boxing; Athletics 12 gold = 55% 32 medals = 49%
Rio 2016 Cycling – Track; Athletics; Rowing; Gymnastics – Artistic; Swimming 14 gold = 52% 35 medals = 52%
London 2012 Cycling – Track; Rowing; Athletics; Boxing; Sailing 19 gold = 66% 34 medals = 52%
Beijing 2008 Cycling – Track; Sailing; Athletics; Rowing 14 gold = 74% 32 medals = 63%

when countries dominated in one sport

United States

Once again, swimming and athletics were the core of the US Olympic performance, providing 56 medals including 18 golds (50% of their total medals, 46% of total golds).

Nine freestyle wrestling medals – including three golds – is a US best tally in that sport since 1904. However, despite the performances of Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky, 11 swimming golds was the lowest since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Much to Michael Johnson’s irritation, the USA’s athletics performance set some unwanted records. Their seven athletics golds was the joint lowest in US Olympic history, with the US men’s two athletics gold medals also an all-time low. There were no men’s individual track golds for the first time and even though the men won 10 athletics medals in total – that was also their lowest return in Games history.

China

China’s core sports of diving, shooting, weightlifting, artistic gymnastics and table tennis produced 25 golds and 46 medals in Tokyo (66% and 52% of their totals respectively). Twelve diving medals and 11 shooting medals were both Olympic records for China.

The eight medals, including seven golds, in weightlifting were also both Chinese Olympic records and it was their best performance in table tennis (four gold, three silver) since Sydney 2000.

Fourth place table

The one table you don’t want to finish top of – fourth place is often considered as the “worst position to finish”. Outside the medals, sometimes with the tiniest of margins enough to separate ecstasy and heartache.

At Rio 2016, Team GB finished fourth on 16 occasions, a post-war record. And they still came second in the medal table.

In Tokyo…

Team Number of fourth places
United States 26
Russian Olympic Committee 15
Great Britain 14
South Korea 12
Italy 11
France 11
Canada 11
Netherlands 11
China 11
Hungary 10
Japan 10
Germany 10
Source: Nielsen Gracenote

Women’s medal table

Canada’s women boosted their country’s position in the overall medal table by winning 75% of the team’s medals and 71% of all the Canadian gold medals.

Great Britain – who sent more female athletes than male for the first time – finished the Games on a high with Lauren Price’s boxing gold and Laura Kenny as flagbearer at the closing ceremony. But they were the only country in the top 10 for women-only events in Tokyo whose female competitors won less than 30% of their country’s gold medals.

However GB women were successful in a number of mixed team events – golds in team eventing, swimming 4x100m mixed relay and mixed triathlon, silver in sailing (mixed Nacra 170 class) and bronze in team dressage.

Country Gold Silver Bronze Total % gold from women % all medals from women
USA 23 22 21 66 58.97% 58.41%
China 22 16 9 47 57.89% 53.41%
Japan 14 8 8 30 51.85% 51.72%
Australia 10 2 9 21 58.82% 48.82%
ROC 9 15 8 32 45% 45.07%
New Zealand 6 3 2 11 85.71% 55%
Great Britain 6 7 10 23 27.27% 38.38%
Canada 5 5 8 18 71.42% 75%
Netherlands 4 4 10 18 44.4% 60%
Germany 4 3 5 12 40% 32.43%
Total 133 133 154 420 45.5% average 45.5% average
Source: Nielsen Gracenote

Of the countries in the top 10 of the overall medal table, Italy and France do not appear in the top 10 of the medal table for women’s events. Italy’s women have won 20% of the country’s gold medals and 37.5% of the medals. For France, this is 20% and 45%.

ROC v Russia 2012 v Russia 2016

The Russian Olympic Committee have performed better – (20 golds, 71 medals) than Russia did at either the 2012 or 2016 Olympics. In 2012, Russia won 68 medals including 20 golds. Five years ago in Rio, the Russian team won 56 medals with 19 golds amongst them.

GB v Australia

2000 – Sydney 4th 10th
2004 – Athens 4th 10th
2008 – Beijing 6th 4th
2012 – London 8th 3rd
2016 – Rio 10th 2nd
2020/21 – Tokyo 6th 4th
Source: Nielsen Gracenote

Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Gracenote, said: “The duel between Great Britain was won by Team GB for the fourth Games in a row but it has not been as close on gold medals between Team GB and Australia since 2008. Great Britain now lead 17-10 against their old sporting rivals.”

What a time to be an Italian

It’s been a golden summer for Italy. Eurovision winners in May; Euro 2020 winners in July; a first ever Wimbledon finalist in Matteo Berrettini; and now a record medal haul of 40 – including 10 golds – making Tokyo 2020 their best ever Games.

Italy’s previous highest medal total was 36 at both the Los Angeles 1932 and Rome 1960 Games. And their five athletics golds featured some of the Games’ standout moments, including Lamont Marcell Jacob’s prestigious men’s 100m sprint victory, the men’s dramatic 4x100m relay victory, and Gianmarco Tamberi’s iconic shared high jump gold.

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