America has received probably the most medals on the Tokyo Olympics and would be the solely nation to take dwelling greater than 100. However on the final day of competitors, the race for probably the most gold medals was a decent contest between the USA and China.
That race is especially vital to China, which has tried to harness its youth for Olympic glory ever since rejoining the summer season Olympic motion in 1984.
With just some occasions left, the USA clinched the race on Sunday afternoon by reaching 39 golds.
Because the day started in Tokyo, China had 38 gold medals to 36 for the USA. However American groups then received gold medals in ladies’s basketball and girls’s volleyball, and Jennifer Valente received the ladies’s omnium in monitor biking, placing the USA into the lead by one.
China had two alternatives for golds, however completed fourth within the rhythmic gymnastics group all-around remaining and with a silver in ladies’s middleweight boxing.
By the point Richard Torrez Jr. of the USA was set to take the ring for an excellent heavyweight remaining, the Individuals had already clinched probably the most golds.
To ascertain itself as a sports activities superpower, China’s authorities many years in the past developed an official “gold medal technique” that trusted 1000’s of full-time sports activities colleges, with coaches scouting younger expertise in villages and cities alike. Along with conventional strongholds like desk tennis and badminton, Chinese language officers intentionally focused sports activities that have been underfunded within the West, akin to ladies’s sports activities, or much less high-profile pursuits with many medals on provide from a number of weight divisions or occasion classes.
It mattered little whether or not there was deep public curiosity in these sports activities in China. Sports activities colleges began packages from scratch in ladies’s weight lifting, taekwondo, canoeing and extra.
On dwelling turf in 2008, China met its ambitions by topping the gold medal rely for the primary time. However the nation slipped in London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016, amid public reservations about whether or not the sports activities system was price it. Few kids make it to the elite stage and even those who do aren’t assured good jobs after they retire.
Whilst authorities officers harassed that they wished to encourage mass sports activities and total bodily health, the drive for gold continued.
It paid off in Tokyo. China scored golds within the sports activities it has dominated up to now, akin to weight lifting, diving, gymnastics and desk tennis. Nevertheless it additionally claimed victories in canoeing, biking, rowing and athletics, and underscored its rising power in swimming. The vast majority of China’s gold medals got here from ladies or from combined group occasions.