Tokyo passed the Olympic baton to Paris after staging a Games that was delayed by Covid-19 and yet, delivered great feats of sporting excellence.
The fast-paced and tightly-scripted closing ceremony kicked off at 8 pm Tokyo time.
It ended with the word “arigato,” which is Japanese for “thank you,” displayed on a giant screen as the athletes strolled off the field.
The ceremony was held at the Tokyo Olympic stadium before an audience of mostly empty seats.
“I declare the games of the 32nd Olympiad closed,” Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, said as the world bid farewell to mega event.
The next Olympics will be held in Paris.
USA tops the table
Team USA maintained their traditional place at the top of the Olympic medal table.
The US had entered Sunday with two fewer golds than China.
However, victory for Jennifer Valente in the women’s omnium (a four-event bicycle decathlon)and a seventh successive title for the women’s basketball team put the two countries level on 38 golds each.
The U.S. women’s basketball team won the gold medal over Japan, 90-75.
The Americans then edged ahead after they beat Brazil in the women’s volleyball final.
The hosts, Japan, finished with 27 golds, the most they have ever won at an Olympics, to end the Games third in the medal table.
Interestingly, Japan also came third when the Olympics were held in Tokyo in 1964.
Great Britain were fourth, with 22 golds, down from the 27 they won in 2016.
Other last day action
Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya defended his Olympic marathon title, becoming only the third man to win gold medals in back-to-back Games.
Bulgaria won the gold in group rhythmic gymnastics, France in women’s handball and Serbia in men’s water polo.
Overall medal tally (Top rankers)
United States: Gold 39 Silver 41 Bronze 33 (113)
China: Gold 38 Silver 32 Bronze 18 (88)
Japan: Gold 27 Silver 14 Bronze 17 (58)
Great Britain: Gold 22 Silver 21 Bronze 22 (65)
ROC: Gold 20 Silver 28 Bronze 23 (71)
Australia: Gold 17 Silver 7 Bronze 22 (46)
Netherlands: Gold 10 Silver 12 Bronze 14 (36)
France: Gold 10 Silver 12 Bronze 11 (33)
Germany: Gold 10 Silver 11 Bronze 16 (37)
Italy: Gold 10 Silver 10 Bronze 20 (40)
Canada: Gold 7 Silver 6 Bronze 11 (24)
New Zealand: Gold 7 Silver 6 Bronze 7 (20)
Brazil: Gold 7 Silver 5 Bronze 8 (20)
Cuba: Gold 7 Silver 3 Bronze 5 (15)