The Republic of Korea continued its dominance in archery at the Olympics as both the women’s and men’s teams grabbed gold medals at Tokyo 2020.
Korea’s top seed An San also won her third gold at the Tokyo Olympics. The country has won gold medals in nine of the last 10 Olympics in the women’s individual event.
Since archery made its debut at the Summer Olympics in 1988, Korean women have won each and every team gold in archery. And since 1984, they have won all but one gold in the individual event. In the men’s team event, Korea has won five out of the last six Olympic titles.
While Korea remains the undisputed dominant force when it comes to archery, there are a number of other Olympic sports that have been similarly dominated by a single nation over decades.
Here’s a look at some of the countries that have dominated particular sports at the Summer Games:
China: Table Tennis
Table Tennis gained prominence in China in the early 1900s and was considered the country’s unofficial national sport by the time it made its Olympics debut in 1988. Heading into Tokyo 2020, China had won a staggering 28 out of the 32 gold medals on offer at the Olympics. Such is its dominance in the sport that it often exports table tennis players to other countries but their hold loosened a little after they lost the mixed doubles title (a newly-introduced event) to Japan on Monday.
Basketball was added to the Summer Olympics in 1936 for men and in 1976 for women. And since then, the United States of America has owned the sport in all but one campaign. USA has won 15 of the 19 Olympic gold medals in men’s basketball and 8 of 11 in women’s. Apart from the I980 Moscow Games, which the USA decided to boycott, they have won a medal in basketball at the Olympics each and every time. The NBA is, of course, a big reason for that, but the most popular basketball league in the world is also slowly helping bring up other countries in this sport.
According to judo’s rules, each country can be represented by just one athlete per weight class. Since the sport was introduced at the Summer Olympics in 1964, Japanese athletes have brought home medals in almost every edition. The country has bagged 84 medals in judo thanks to the 50 athletes it has sent to compete in this sport over the years. Judo is the only Olympic sport in which Japan has won more medals than any other nation.
Hungary: Men’s Water Polo
Hungary wasn’t the dominant force in men’s water polo, to begin with. That honour belonged to Sweden and Great Britain. But once it clinched the silver medal in 1928, there was no looking back. It won gold medals in nine of the next 18 Summer Games. From 1928 to 2008, the Hungarian men’s water polo team won medals in each edition of the Olympics except three. This included three silver medals and as many bronze.
The country ranked second on the list of most Olympic medals won in swimming is Australia. It has 188 medals to its name. The United States of America is at the top of this list. It owns 553 Olympic medals in swimming, which includes 246 gold. USA has been in a league of its own when it comes to pool races. Michael Phelps, who is the most decorated Olympian in history, is an American and led the way in swimming over the past two decades.
It may come as a surprise to some but badminton was introduced at the Olympics only a few decades ago. The sport made its Olympic debut at the Barcelona Games in 1992 and ever since then, it is China that has been head and shoulders above the rest. It has won 41 Olympic medals in badminton: 18 gold, eight silver and 15 bronze. China has been a major reason why Asian counties own 92 of the 106 medals in badminton at the Olympics.
When it comes to boxing, Cuba has always had stiff competition from the United States of America. In fact, USA has won more Olympic medals in boxing than Cuba – 113 to 73. But what gives Cuba the edge is the fact that each time these two countries have participated together at the Summer Olympics since 1972, it is Cuba that has won more boxing medals. Cubans first took part in boxing at the Olympics in 1960 and since then, the sport has accounted for nearly one-third of the country’s 220 Olympic medals.
p.s. India did dominate men’s field hockey at one point but they haven’t got anywhere close to a medal in a while.
Most field hockey medals in men's hockey
|Team||Winners||Runners-up||Third place||Fourth place|
|India||8 (1928, 1932, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1964, 1980)||1 (1960)||2 (1968, 1972)|
|Germany||4 (1972, 1992, 2008, 2012)||3 (1936, 1984, 1988)||4 (1928, 1956, 2004, 2016)||2 (1968, 1996)|
|Pakistan||3 (1960, 1968, 1984)||3 (1956, 1964, 1972)||2 (1976, 1992)||3 (1948, 1952, 2000)|
|Great Britain||3 (1908*, 1920, 1988)||2 (1908*, 1948)||4 (1908*, 1908*, 1952, 1984)||3 (1956, 1960, 2012*)|
|Netherlands||2 (1996, 2000)||4 (1928*, 1962, 2004, 2012)||3 (1936, 1948, 1988)||5 (1972, 1976, 1992, 2008, 2016)|
|Australia||1 (2004)||3 (1968, 1976, 1992)||5 (1964, 1996, 2000*, 2008, 2012)||2 (1984, 1988)|
|New Zealand||1 (1976)|
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