The numbers Games – a look back at Tokyo and Great Britain’s summer Olympic history

The Tokyo Olympics ended at the weekend with the United States top of the medal table while Great Britain finished fourth.

By Simon Carter
Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 4:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 4:09 pm
Twelve-year-old silver medalist Kokona Hiraki, of Japan, centre, and gold medalist Sakura Yosozumi of Japan and bronze medalist Sky Brown of Britain, left, celebrate after the women's park skateboarding finals. Picture: AP Photo/Ben Curtis.
Twelve-year-old silver medalist Kokona Hiraki, of Japan, centre, and gold medalist Sakura Yosozumi of Japan and bronze medalist Sky Brown of Britain, left, celebrate after the women's park skateboarding finals. Picture: AP Photo/Ben Curtis.

Here, The News recaps the Games in numbers.

39 – the United States led the medal table with 39 gold medals – one more than second-placed China. The USA also finished with the highest medal total (113).

29 – Only one nation has ever won a medal at every one of the 29 summer Games – Great Britain.

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Hayling Islander Eilidh McIntyre, third left, and Hannah Mills won Great Britain's 31st Olympic sailing gold in Tokyo - 12 more than any other nation has collected in Games history. Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images.

58 – medals for host nation Japan, including a third-ranked 27 gold.

22 – Great Britain’s gold medal haul, the fourth-best performance ever by a British team.

65 – total British medals, tied with London 2012 for the third-best tally in Team GB history.

12 – cycling contributed the most British medals, followed by swimming with eight and boxing and athletics with six.

Duncan Scott reacts after winning the gold medal in the Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final in Tokyo. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

4 – swimmer Duncan Scott won a record number of medals for a Briton at a single Olympics, a gold and three silver.

15 – career Olympic medals for husband and wife Jason and Laura Kenny, including 12 golds.

3 - Laura Kenny became the first British woman to win gold at three consecutive Olympic Games. She now has five golds - more than any other GB female Olympian.

31 - Hayling Islander Eilidh McIntyre and Hannah Mills won the 31st gold medal in Great Britain’s Olympic sailing history in the women’s 470. Of those, 15 have come in the last six Games.

64 - GB have now won 64 Olympic sailing medals - four more than the next highest, USA. The states, with 19, have the second highest number of sailing golds.

11 – sprinter Allyson Felix became the most decorated woman and American in track and field with her 10th and 11th Olympic medals, bronze in the 400m and gold – her seventh – in the 4x400m relay.

12 – Kokona Hiraki was the youngest medallist in Tokyo, taking skateboarding silver for the host nation ahead of Britain’s 13-year-old bronze medallist Sky Brown. Andrew Hoy, 62, was the oldest as he won equestrian bronze for Australia.

93 – nations to win medals in Tokyo, out of 206 entrants. There were gold medals for 65 countries.

0.15 – after a week without a medal in Tokyo, Jamaica’s first three came in the space of 0.15 seconds as Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson finished 1-2-3 in the women’s 100m – Thompson-Herah won in 10.61secs, with Jackson third in 10.76secs.

2 – that was one of only two clean sweeps of a podium at these Games, with Switzerland’s Jolanda Neff, Sina Frei and Linda Indergand taking gold, silver and bronze respectively in the women’s cross-country mountain biking.

3 – San Marino won the first three Olympic medals in their history, with silver for shooters Alessandra Perilli and Gian Marco Berti in the mixed trap and bronze for Perilli in her individual event and Myles Amine in wrestling.

1 – Turkmenistan and Burkina Faso also won their first ever Olympic medals, while Bermuda, the Philippines and Qatar won their maiden golds.


146 - the most medals Great Britain have ever won at an Olympics, in London in 1908. That total comprised 56 golds, 51 silvers and 39 bronze.

2 - Great Britain’s medal four at the St Louis Games in 1904. Mind you, the team only comprised three athletes! Only 62 of the 651 athletes who competed came from outside the USA.

916 - Great Britain’s total medal haul at the summer Olympics (285 gold, 316 silver, 315 bronze). Only the Soviet Union (1,010) and the USA (2,636) have won more medals.

28 - Olympic medals for American swimmer Michael Phelps, including 23 gold, three silver and two bronze.

18 - Olympic medals for the second-highest athlete after Phelps, Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina - nine gold, five silver, four bronze.

21 - Age of Launceston Elliot, the first Great Britain Olympic gold medallist in the one-handed weightlifting event in Athens, 1896. Bizarrely, he also competed in the 100m, the rope climbing and the wrestling in the same Games!

2 - the first Great British athlete to win two golds at the same Games was Irishman John Boland, who won the tennis singles and doubles at Athens in 1896 - four years before he became an MP (winning the South Kerry constituency for the Irish Republican Party).

13 - at the age of 13 years and 268 days, American Marjorie Gestring holds the record for the youngest gold medal winner in Games history - she won the springboard diving title at the 1936 Berlin Games.

64 - at 64 years and 258 days, Sweden’s Oscar Swahn is the oldest gold medalist in Olympic history - having won a shooting title in 1912. Eight years later, aged 72, he became the oldest person to ever compete in the Games (and the oldest medalist, he won a bronze) outside of the arts competitions.

73 - age of Great Britain’s John Copley, the oldest Olympic medalist in history - he won a silver medal for Painting and Engraving at the London Games of 1948. From 1912 to 1948, other Olympic arts categories included architecture, music, literature and sculpture.