The Tokyo Olympics finally began on July 23 after a year’s delay. More than 11,000 athletes across 33 sports competed in the showpiece event. New names were made and reputations established. They showed their peak game and mesmerised everyone.
Here’s a look at the 10 individuals who took the most medals in the Tokyo Olympics:
1. Emma McKeon
With seven medals, the swimmer from Brisbane earned the most medals by an individual athlete in Tokyo. She is now tied with gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya for the record for most medals won by a woman in a single edition of the Olympics. The 27-year-old picked four gold medals in 50 and 100m individual freestyle followed by 4x100m medley and freestyle relays. Emma won bronze medals in 100m butterfly, 4x200m freestyle relay and 4x100m mixed relay.
2. Caeleb Dressel
The star swimmer was selected as a co-captain for the USA men’s swimming team. The 24-year-old was on a gold rush in Tokyo, collecting five medals on top of the podium. His first gold came in the 4x100m freestyle relay. He went on to establish two new Olympics Records in 50m and 100m freestyle. He signed off with two new World Record timings in 100m butterfly and 4x100m medley relay. By winning five gold medals in Tokyo, Dressel becomes the 4th male USA swimmer in the history to achieve the feat after Mark Spitz, Matt Biondi, and Michael Phelps.
3. Kaylee McKeown
The 20-year-old Queenslander made a splash at the biggest stage of swimming. She took the gold in 100m, setting a new Olympic record. She took another gold, this time in the 200m backstroke. Kaylee clinched her third gold at Tokyo in the women’s 4x100m medley relay. She also had a bronze in the mixed 4x100m medley relay.
4. Zhang Yufei
One of the breakthrough stars of the Tokyo Olympics, Zhang had a memorable outing. She won the gold in the 200m butterfly, setting a new Olympic record. She was a member of the 4x200m freestyle team which took the gold by breaking the world record. She took the silver in the 100m butterfly and 4x100m mixed relay.
5. Kathleen Ledecky
The most decorated female swimmer of all time bagged four medals in Tokyo. She began with a silver medal in 400m freestyle, losing to Australia’s Ariarne Titmus. This was her first loss in an individual event. In the final of the 200m freestyle, she finished fifth. In the 4x200m freestyle relay, she took the silver medal. But Kathleen roared back to be the inaugural gold medallist in the 1500m freestyle and closed her Olympics with a gold in 800m freestyle for the third time.
6. Ariarne Titmus
Nicknamed ‘Terminator’, the Tasmanian swimmer was the cynosure of all eyes. Going into the Olympics, she was seen as a big challenger for Kathleen Ledecky’s gold medals in the 200m and 400m freestyle events. Ariarne lived up to the billing by winning the gold in both events, edging out the competition from the American swimmer. In 200m freestyle, she set a new Olympic record. The Tasmanian took the silver in 800m freestyle, behind Kathleen. She finished her Olympics with a bronze in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
7. Duncan Scott
The man from Glasgow became the first swimmer from the Great Britain contingent to win four medals at the Olympics. He won a gold from the 4x200m freestyle relay. He took silver medals in 200m freestyle, 200m individual medley and 4x100m medley relay. The four medals at Tokyo have resulted for calls for him to be given knighthood.
8. James Guy
The freestyle and butterfly specialist had an Olympics to remember. The 25-year-old was a member of the gold-medal winning 4x100m mixed medley and 4x200m freestyle relays. He also clinched a silver in 4x100m medley relay.
9. Adam Peaty
The swimmer played a major hand in Great Britain having its best-ever time at the Olympics. Peaty became the first British swimmer to defend his title by winning the 100m breaststroke. He won a second gold in the mixed 4x100m relay followed by a silver in the men’s 4x100m medley relay. He has now taken a break from the game to focus on his mental health.
10. Daike Hashimoto
The 20-year-old artistic gymnast from Chiba became the first Japanese man to win two individual gold medals in one edition of the Olympics since 1984. He guided Japan to a silver in the men’s team event. He followed it up with a gold in the individual all-around, carrying the legacy of Japan winning gold in the event for the third time. He signed off from his maiden Olympics outing with a gold in men’s horizontal bars.