Tokyo Olympics: World Athletics president hails ‘hospitable’ Japanese people
Sebastian Coe, World Athletics president, has hailed the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the people of Japan for allowing the dreams of the world’s athletes to come to life.
Mr Coe, in a statement on Sunday, noted that the athletes’ dreams were made to come alive at “the most globally successful edition of the Games” for the track and field sport.
A record 83 teams reached finals in Tokyo, highlighting the global reach of the sport, with 43 teams featuring on the medal podium and 23 of those winning gold.
“Some 70 per cent of athletes only get one chance to compete at the Olympic Games and in Tokyo athletes made the most of the opportunity under the most challenging circumstances,” the president said.
Mr Coe thanked Japan and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee for providing the best possible platform on which the sport’s stars could shine.
Over 10 days of competition, three world records, 12 Olympic records, 28 area records and 151 national records were set in these history-making Games.
“To the people of Japan, we know the hardship you have endured and continue to endure in the face of this global pandemic,” Mr Coe said.
“We owe you a massive debt of gratitude for your gracious hospitality, your professionalism and your friendship. You really have been simply the best and we thank you unreservedly.”
The tally of 43 countries on the medal table is the biggest in athletics for more than 20 years, underlining the diversity and depth of talent in the sport.
Across all Olympic sports at the Tokyo Games, 93 teams earned medals, meaning that almost 50 per cent of those achieved their dreams in athletics.
For 12 teams – Bahamas, Bahrain, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Grenada, Jamaica, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Puerto Rico and Uganda – athletics was their pathway to the Olympic podium.
In total, athletes at the Games covered a combined distance of 2,045,750 metres in track events and 10,737km in road events.
Field event participants threw a combined distance of 1,508m and jumped a combined distance of 2,490m.
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