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USA shoots past China in Olympic gold race but falls short of its own lofty standards

US garners more medals than China (Photo: IANS)

On the final day of the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, the United States raced past China to finish the Games with the highest number of gold medals at 39.  China was relegated to the second spot with 38 gold medals.

However, the US is far ahead of China in the total number of medals won at the Tokyo Olympics with a count of 112 which includes the silver and bronze medals as well, compared to China’s 87.

On the last day of the Games, the U.S. women’s basketball team extended its Olympic winning streak with a victory over Japan, to clinch its seventh consecutive gold, and the U.S. women’s volleyball team beat Brazil for its first. The two gold medals took the USA past China in the gold tally.

Jennifer Valente also won a cycling gold, helping tip the balance in the gold medal race between the United States and China.

Allyson Felix had won yet another medal on Saturday, helping the women’s 4×400-meter relay team to a gold. She now has 11 medals over the course of her storied career, enough to break the tie between her and Carl Lewis for the most medals in U.S. track and field history.

However, there appeared to be some disappointment in the USA as the New York Times said: “The Americans’ efforts have produced results that might be the envy of the world but have fallen short of their recent lofty standards.

The U.S. Olympic Team did not equal its haul of 121 medals in 2016. Forty-six of them were gold, two fewer than the mark the Chinese set for gold medals in 2008 in Beijing. The U.S. team won 104 medals in 2012 and 112 in 2008.

Going into the reasons of the shortfall the New York Times report said: The vaunted track team won 32 medals in Rio but just 26 in Tokyo. American men have not won an individual gold medal in the speed events that have been their bread and butter since the days of Jesse Owens.

The U.S. women’s soccer team, the two-time defending World Cup champions, lost twice and settled for a bronze medal. Simone Biles, the greatest gymnast ever, missed the bulk of the meet as she battled mental stress. American rowers failed to make the Olympic podium for the first time since 2008. Even in rowing, the women’s eight boat team, the three-time defending gold medallists, came up empty.

There were 339 events in Tokyo, compared with just over 300 at the Rio Games in 2016.

With the slip in American dominance, China and Japan whose athletes competed on home ground and did not have to deal with the travails of travel have gained.

Japan, with 58 medals shot past its tally of 41 medals, including 12 gold, won in Rio. The host nation has won 27 gold at the Tokyo Games. In the new skateboarding event alone it won five of the 12 medals, including three golds.

India flies high

India has recorded its best ever performance at the Olympic Games with Neeraj Chopra winning the Gold medal in Men's Javelin to take the country’s medal tally to 7. India has now surpassed its previous best of 6 medals from the London Games in 2012.

The medal winners who did the nation proud are:

Neeraj Chopra – Gold in Men’s Javelin

Mirabai Chanu – Silver in Women's 49kg Weightlifting

Ravi Dahiya – Silver in Men's Freestyle 57kg Wrestling

India men's hockey team – Bronze

Lovlina Borgohain – Bronze in Women's Welterweight boxing

PV Sindhu – Bronze in Women's Singles Badminton

Bajrang Punia – Bronze in Men's 65kg Freestyle Wrestling