08/09/2021, 12.47
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Tokyo Olympics: one medal in four went to Asia

Never have so many athletes from the continent stood on the podium. After China and Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India and the Philippines reach historic results.

Tokyo (AsiaNews) – For the first time in history, Asia has won more than a quarter of the medals awarded in the just-concluded Tokyo Olympic Games.

According to the Olympian Database website, Asian athletes won 267 medals out of 1,009 (26.46 per cent), second only to Europe, which harvested 426 medals.

Asian athletes stood on the top podium 93 times, a record unmatched even at the 2008 Beijing Games, when they stopped at 86.

Japan's results explain this success. As is often the case, the host country took home a higher than usual number of medals (58). 

Asia’s success reflects, however, a trend. For example, at the Sydney Games in 2000 Asia took home 53 gold medals out of a total of 157 (picture 2).

As expected, China took the lion's share, losing top spot for most gold medals to the United States only on the last day (39 against 38), thus failing to be first. The only time it did was at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Yet among Chinese, this edition of the Olympic Games will also be remembered above all for the unprecedented successes of Taiwan and Hong Kong. Taiwan took home 12 medals in various disciplines (from badminton and golf to artistic gymnastics and archery), whilst Hong Kong won six medals in fencing, cycling, table tennis and karate.

What is more, China is not alone in improving its score. Asia as a whole is doing better. India’s young javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra (picture 1) won his country’s first Olympic gold medal in track and field. 

In Southeast Asia, the Philippines reached the top spot of the Olympic podium with gold medallist Hidilyn Diaz, a 30-year-old female weightlifter from Zamboanga, who won in the women's 55 kg category.

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“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”