After 19 days of competition, the 2020 Olympic Games came to an end on Sunday. 339 events in 33 different sports were participated by 11,090 athletes around and outside Tokyo, which saw 1080 medals being awarded — 340 gold, 338 silver and 402 bronze, if you're wondering.
Not all ended the global meet with at least one medal, as only 93 contingents in total managed to do so, with the United States, as expected, dominating with the most gold medals (39) and most overall medals (113).
However, there are countries that might feel more disgruntled than others to miss out on podium spots as they either lost in bronze medal matches or fell just short of medal finishes. Here are the 16 countries who came ever so close.
Albania has never won an Olympic medal throughout its history, but all that almost changed in Tokyo. Weightlifter Briken Calja lifted 341kg in total in the men's 73kg event, falling just one kilogram short of bronze medalist Rahmat Erwin Abdullah's attempt (342kg). The event memorable saw China's Shi Zhiyong create new Olympic records in snatch, clean & jerk and total to win the gold medal.
SHI Zhiyong?? has won #gold in #Weightlifting - 73kg at #Tokyo2020— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 28, 2021
He know owns the Olympic Records in snatch and clean & jerk and the World Record in total. #UnitedByEmotion | #StrongerTogether | #Olympics
An injury blow to 2012 gold medalist Taoufik Makhloufi derailed Algeria's Olympic campaign as the North African nation failed to win a medal for the first time since 2004. Despite having 41 athletes in 14 different sports, boxing was its best chance, with Imane Khelif losing to eventual gold medalist Kellie Harrington in the women's lightweight quarter-finals.
Bosnia and HerzegovinaEvent: Taekwondo
Although Bosnia and Herzegovina went home without any medal for the eighth consecutive appearance at the Summer Olympics, it was the nation's most successful outing. It recorded three top-10 finishes in three different sports, with taekwondo athlete Nedzad Husic finishing the highest at fifth. The 19-year-old lost to eventual winner Ulugbek Rashitov and then Turkey's Hakan Recber to finish just outside the podium.
British Virgin IslandsEvent: 400m hurdles
The men's 400m hurdles made international headlines after Karsten Warholm created new world record of 45.94s to take home a gold medal. Kyron McMaster set a new national mark of 47.08s for British Virgin Islands, but it was only good enough for a fourth-placed finish as it proved to be a day of broken records. Completing the podium were Rai Benjamin (46.17s) and Alison dos Santos (46.72s), who set new regional benchmarks that would've also beaten Warholm's previous Olympic record (46.78s).
While most of her national compatriots crashed out early in Tokyo, 2019 and 2020 African Games winner Joseph Essombe made it all the way to a bronze medal match. The Cameroonian wrestler improved on her 16th-placed finish in Rio de Janeiro all the way to fifth this year as she was beaten by Mongolian Bat-Ochiryn Bolortuyaa.
ChileEvents: Golf and wrestling
With 58 athletes in 24 sports, Chile was the largest contingent not to win any medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics. The South Americans came the closest to the podium through golfer Mito Pereira and wrestler Yasmani Acosta. The former lost in a seven-man sudden death playoff, which included the likes of Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and Paul Casey, for bronze to Chinese Taipei's Pan Cheng-tsung, while the latter was defeated by Sergey Semenov in one of the men's Greco-Roman 130kg bronze medal deciders.
Costa RicaEvent: BMX freestyle
After winning the silver medal at the 2018 Urban Cycling World Championships, Kenneth Tencio represented Costa Rico's best hope for a medal finish this year. The 27-year-old almost successfully did it in the men's BMX freestyle final as he recorded a best score of 90.50 points, which was just 0.30 point behind third-placed Declan Brooks. World champion Logan Martin (93.30 points) and five-time Summer X Games winner Daniel Dhers (92.05 points) won gold and silver respectively.
You would forgive former world champion and London 2012 silver medalist Pavlos Kontides if he felt slightly hard done by. The Cypriot sailor was in medal contention in the men's laser event, but a setback on the final day's second race, where he finished 24th, forced him to settle for fourth.
Guatemalan shuttler Kevin Cordon made an improbable fairytale run in the men's singles event. Representing his country at his fourth Summer Olympics, he beat Mexico's Lino Munoz, eighth seed Ng Ka Long, 2020 European Team Badminton Championships runner-up Mark Caljouw and Heo Kwang-hee, who had earlier pulled off a giant-killing victory over Kento Momota, to reach the semi-finals. Viktor Axelsen proved to be too strong for him before Anthony Sinisuka Ginting beat him to bronze.
Take a bow, King Kev.— BWF (@bwfmedia) August 4, 2021
You are a credit to yourself, the sport of #badminton and the nation of ?? Guatemala. ??#RaiseARacket ? to Kevin Cordon.#Tokyo2020 #Olympics @BadmintonGuate pic.twitter.com/QZwiHtcmg0
Darrelle Valsaint Jr. became the first fighter representing Haiti to reach an Olympic boxing quarter-finals, beating Congolese boxer David Tshama in the previous round, before falling to number two seed Gleb Bakshi.
The island nation came close to taste boxing glory again since 2008, when Bruno Julie reached the men's bantamweight semi-finals in Beijing to take home a bronze medal. However, 2019 African champion Merven Clair was stopped by Irish boxer Aidan Walsh in the men's welterweight quarter-finals.
Mozambique had two chances to end its Olympic medal drought since 2000, with both coming in boxing events. Rady Gramane lost to ROC's Zemfira Magomedalieva in the women's middleweight quarter-finals, and Alcinda Panguana also bowed out in the same stage in the women's welterweight division, losing to silver medalist Gu Hong.
Abdoul Razak Issoufou, who clinched an Olympic silver medal in the taekwondo men's +80 kg event five years ago, suffered a shock loss to Ivory Coast's Seydou Gbane in the first round at the Makuhari Messe, but national compatriot Tekiath Ben Yessouf almost salvaged Niger's campaign. The 2021 African champion managed to make it to the bronze medal match, where she lost to Chinese Taipei's Lo Chia-ling.
Among 10 Panamanian representatives in Tokyo, boxer Atheyna Bylon went the furthest, losing to Lauren Price in the women's middleweight quarter-finals. Had she managed to get past the eventual gold medalist, a semi-final appearance would've secured her a bronze medal.
SingaporeEvent: Table tennis
The island nation failed to win any medals for the first time since the 2004 Summer Olympics. Swimming star Joseph Schooling was notably unable to defend his Rio 2016 gold, leaving it all to do to the table tennis team, which contributed one silver in 2008 and two bronze in 2012. Yu Mengyu stunned heavy favourites Cheng I-ching and Kasumi Ishikawa en route to the semi-finals, where she lost to eventual winner Chen Meng of China. In the bronze medal match, Yu was beaten by Japan's Mima Ito 1-4.
SurinameEvent: Track cycling
Malaysians' eyes were glued to the TV and mobile devices in the men's keirin event as Azizulhasni Awang made an impressive run to the final, where he won a silver medal. In the same final, Surinamese cyclist Jair Tjon En Fa finished just outside the top three, crossing the line 0.531s behind third-placed Harrie Lavreysen.
*BONUS* IOC Refugee Olympic TeamEvent: Taekwondo
Kimia Alizadeh was memorably the first Iranian woman to win a medal at a Summer Olympics when she won a bronze medal in the taekwondo 57kg weight class at Rio 2016. She later defected to Germany and was allowed to compete in Tokyo under the Refugee Olympic Team. Alizadeh had a good tournament, which saw her defeat two-time Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones, and came close to defending her bronze medal as she lost to Turkey's Hatice Kubra Ilgun in the third-placed match.
Remarkable match up at the Olympics taekwondo: Kimia Alizadeh who became the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal in 2016 is now fighting as a refugee is drawn against Iran’s Nahid Kiyani. pic.twitter.com/GkI1CNHWac— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) July 25, 2021