TOKYO, Japan – Seven Caribbean nations appear on the final medal table from the Summer Olympic Games which ended here Sunday, with Cuba topping the list.
The Spanish-speaking Caribbean country won 15 medals as Caribbean nations finished with 15 gold, seven silver and nine bronze.
For the Cubans, their gold came in boxing through Andy Cruz, Julio la Cruz, Arlen Lopez and Roniel Iglesias, along with three-gold medal performance in rowing, allowing them to end in 14th place on the overall medal table.
The other Caribbean nations on the medal table were Jamaica, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Grenada. All but one of the medals won by this group of countries came in athletics.
Gold medal winners Elaine Thompson-Herah and Hansle Parchment of Jamaica, Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas, along with Puerto Rican Jasmin Camacho-Quinn all made history.
Thompson-Herah became the first to complete a 100-200 meters ‘double-double’ and Parchment made Jamaica the first country other than the United States to win the 110 meters hurdles in successive Olympic Games.
That feat was last accomplished by the USA in 1988, when Roger Kingdom retained the title, he won in 1984.
Miller-Uibo and Gardiner gave the Bahamas the honor of being the first Caribbean country to win both 400 meters gold medals in the same Games since 1984.
Camacho-Quinn is Puerto Rico’s first Olympic champion in athletics.
Jamaica’s medal haul of four gold, one silver and four bronze earned Thompson-Herah and her compatriots fifth place on the athletics medal table, behind the United States, Italy, Kenya and Poland.
The USA won seven gold, 12 silver and seven bronze medals.
The much-maligned games, postponed from last year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, wrapped up Sunday with the closing ceremony in the country’s capital.
With rising COVID cases, the Games proceeded behind closed doors, with athletes forced to undergo extensive testing throughout the showpiece.
“There are no words to describe what you have achieved,” said Tokyo 2020 president, Seiko Hashimoto.
“You have accepted what seemed unimaginable, understood what had to be done, and through hard work and perseverance overcome unbelievable challenges.”
The closing ceremony showcased parts of Japan culture, amidst fireworks at the Olympic stadium, as the curtain came down on the Games, with France’s capital Paris set to take the baton in 2024.
“For the first time since the pandemic began, the entire world came together,” said International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach.
“Nobody has ever organized a postponed Games before.”