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Messi bids adieu to Barcelona, Tokyo Olympics ends and more…6 min read

August 10, 2021 4 min read

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Messi bids adieu to Barcelona, Tokyo Olympics ends and more…6 min read

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Adithya G

Curtains Fall on Olympics 2020 

A gloriously entertaining 2021 Tokyo Olympics came to a close after 16 days of sporting action. The games were held a year later than the proposed date due to the pandemic. The International Olympic Chief Thomas Bach declared the Games of the 32nd Olympiad closed as the Olympic Flame was extinguished in a cauldron. He later commented that it had been the most challenging Olympic journey. 

The Olympic flag was passed to Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo for the 2024 Games at the closing ceremony.

Here are some of the highlights of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games:

17 new world records were set.

11,000 athletes competed in 339 medal events. 

205 national Olympic committees were represented with one team made up of refugees. 

The 2020 Olympics is the first “gender-balanced” games in its history with 49% of the participating Olympics being women.

Twenty-eight-year-old Dutch athlete Sifan Hassan became the first person to win three medals over 1500m (bronze), 5,000m (gold) and 10,000m (gold) and only the second woman to reach the podium in three individual track races at one Olympics.

American swimmer Caeleb Dressel, with five medals, was the most decorated athlete at the Games. Syrian table tennis player Hend Zaza and Japanese skateboarder Kokona Hiraki were the youngest athletes in Tokyo at 12 years old. Australian equestrian Mary Hanna was the oldest at 66 years old.

The Philippines won their first-ever gold medal with Hidilyn Diaz winning the 55kg Weight Lifting event. Countries such as Taiwan, Georgia and India claimed their biggest ever Olympic medal haul in Tokyo. San Marino, Turkmenistan and Burkina Faso won Olympic medals for the first time.

The USA topped all medal categories. They edged China out by a single gold medal.

The Tokyo Olympics were the most expensive Olympics on record. The official budget for the Games was $15.4 billion.

A gold medal was shared among two athletes at the Olympics 113 years ago after high jumpers Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy mutually decided to share the top spot.

Neeraj Chopra becomes India’s first-ever track & field gold medallist

Photo: Olympics.com

Neeraj Chopra won the Tokyo Olympics Men’s Javelin final with a throw of 87.58m. The 23-year-old was touted as a medal prospect after winning the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games gold medals in 2018. 

The moment Neeraj let the Javelin fly out of his hand, he turned around and raised his arms in celebration. He already knew that his throw was golden.

Football

Lionel Messi Quits Barcelona

Photo: Getty Images

Lionel Messi, Barcelona’s greatest ever player couldn’t renew his contract with his club and will play his trade for another team in Europe this season. Messi, since making his senior debut at Camp Nou in 2003, has played 778 club games, scoring 672 goals. 

Messi is the most decorated player in the club. The Argentine claimed in his final press conference that he wanted to stay at the club and had even accepted a 50 percent salary cut to sign a new contract. However, cash-strapped Barcelona couldn’t afford the great player even at a discount.

The 34-year-old tearfully announced his departure from the club at a press conference. 

Rumours abound that Messi could be playing for Paris St. Germain next season, alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Leicester beat Champions Manchester City to win Community Shield

Kelechi Iheanacho’s late penalty gave Leicester a 1-0 victory over Manchester City to claim their first Community Shield since 1971.

Iheanacho’s well-placed left-footed shot from the spot beat goalkeeper Zack Steffen in the 88th minute and Leicester celebrated once again at Wembley Stadium, where they had won the FA Cup final in May.

Jack Grealish made his debut for City just two days after the Premier League champions broke the British transfer fee record by paying 100 million pounds ($139 million) to sign him from Aston Villa.

Cricket

India vs England – Rain brings a tame end to first Test

Joe Root. Photo: Skysports

1st innings: 

England 183 (Root 64; Bumrah 4-46)

India 278 (Rahul 84; Robinson 5-65)

2nd innings:

303 (Root 109, Curran 32, Bumrah 5-64) drew with 

52 for 1 (Rahul 26, Broad 1-18)

Match drawn

A superbly poised opening Test was set for a grandstand finish before the weather played spoilsport. India needed 155 runs on the final day with nine wickets in hand. However, with hardly any play possible on the final day, both teams had to settle for a draw. The next Test starts at Lord’s on August 12.

Joe Root was awarded the Player of the Match for his remarkable century in England’s second innings.

First-ever Hattrick on T20I Debut

Australia’s Nathan Ellis became the first male cricketer to take a hat trick on T20 International debut when he picked up three consecutive wickets off the final three deliveries of the innings in the third game of the five-match series against Bangladesh. 

With his 3 for 34, Ellis became only the second Australian to achieve a hat trick in his maiden international match.

Damien Fleming is the only other Australian to have taken a hat trick on debut, against Pakistan in a Test match in 1994.

Ellis’ feat in Dhaka has been the lone bright spot of Australia’s otherwise dismal tour of Bangladesh. The visitors, led by stand-in skipper Matthew Wade lost the T20I series 1-4.


(Out-Actioned is a weekly sports bulletin.)

Author’s Note: Adithya is a freelance writer and sports enthusiast.