US finish on top as Tokyo douses Olympic flame closing pandemic-defying Games
08 Aug 2021
People gathered near the National Stadium watch the firework display launched during the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday. AP
Gulf Today Report
United States tasted success in volleyball, track cycling and basketball to top the tally with 39 gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, just one ahead of China, as the biggest sports event ended on Sunday.
Britain finished fourth with 22 golds and the Russian Olympic Committee, the team for Russian athletes after Russia were banned for systematic doping, were fifth with 20.
In total 33 sports were held during the 16-day long event in the empty stadiums, with fans barred over COVID-19 precautions and athletes confined to strict bio-secure conditions.
New sports including skateboarding, surfing, sport climbing and karate made their debut at the Tokyo Games while giving a chance to new stars to shine at the biggest stage.
Olympic flame burning (L) and another cauldron as it closes (R) after the flame was extinguished. AFP
Sunday's closing ceremony got underway at an Olympic Stadium sans spectators, rounding off an event conducted mostly for a worldwide TV audience of billions.
Fireworks light up the sky over the Olympic Stadium during the closing ceremony in Tokyo. AFP
The president of the International Olympic Committee thanked the Japanese people and acknowledged the difficulty of staging the Games during the pandemic.
"For the first time since the pandemic began, the entire world came together," Thomas Bach said. "Nobody has ever organised a postponed Games before."