Olympic Games: United States, Teams and Stars | Olympic Games 2021

Olympic Games: United States, Teams and Stars |  Olympic Games 2021
Kevin Durant and Adebayo, Tokyo 2020 medalists.Aris Messines / Agence France-Presse

The United States dominated the games in the overall medal table with 113 metals and 39 golds (one more than China, 88 in total) and also in the team rankings. In the collegiate selection disciplines, the US teams added nine medals (six gold), six from France (three) and five from Japan and Russia (two and zero), while Spain, with wide representation, reached three medals, two silvers and one bronze. The United States has pulled the muscles of the teams, proving that it’s not just a constellation of superstars like Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky, Caleb Dressel and Sidney McLaughlin.

North American dominance of basketball was almost mandatory. Greg Popovich went straight from the Saitama Super Arena, 30 miles from Tokyo, to his room in Olympic Village for a drink. That was what the body demanded of the US coach after France put him in a cold sweat as he advanced three points to 10 seconds from the men’s final at the Games. Kevin Durant made two free throws and the drama dissipated. The United States extended its dominance in Olympic basketball with its fourth consecutive title. The body was telling Pops, the 72-year-old coach who took on this enormous responsibility, to relax. He did so shortly before the 2019 World Cup in China, where the failure was colossal, with two defeats and seventh place, the United States’ worst at a major international tournament. To set Tokyo and after several characters defected, he put together a good team around Kevin Durant. The play ended up going well despite a grueling preparation stage, two losses in friendlies and one against France, already in the Olympic tournament, the first for the United States at the Games since Athens 2004. Corrected in time, the team improved their collective benefits and Durant shone in All his glory.

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There was no disaster, although America’s supremacy was increasingly limited. France showed it, Australia hinted at him in the first half, although they were subsequently crushed, and Spain were not far away either, despite the fact that Sergio Scarello’s team showed signs of fatigue, at the end of the session. The withdrawal of Pau and Marc Gasol marks the beginning of a new era in Spanish basketball after an unforgettable period with 13 medals, five golds, in major international events since 2001.

Doncic and Slovenia left an indelible mark on their Olympic debuts. You don’t have to win a medal to impress the fans. Doncic showed it, with 48 points against Argentina, with a big team game for a team representing a country of barely two million people. The 22-year-old goalkeeper is a star in the NBA, at games and wherever there is a ball and basket.

Real Dream Team Women’s basketball has not lost a game since the 1992 Games in Barcelona. The US players added the seventh consecutive gold in Tokyo, and the fifth gold for two of their members, Sue Bird and Diana Torassi. Spain confirmed the worst of vows and wear and tear from the successful stage with Lucas Mondello at the helm. The team showed significant cracks in its performance already in the European Championship that was held a month ago in Valencia. Three days after losing the quarter-finals to France, Al Ittihad sent Mondello. Marta Zargay revealed at EL PAÍS that she suffered from bulimia as a result of Mondello’s treatment, testimony that the Spanish Federation stopped before the Games.

The French success in team sports was extraordinary. He won the first title in his history in men’s volleyball. The men also took revenge on Denmark in the final, taking a third gold medal in their last four matches. The women’s handball team also won. And in basketball, he reached the final in the men’s tournament and the bronze in the women’s, after his unexpected stumble in the semi-final against Japan.

Spain, with nine teams in Tokyo 2020, was the fourth most represented country in team sports, surpassed only by the United States and Australia with 11, and Japan, all of whose teams are ranked ex officio. The Spanish balance is uneven, with three medals, silver for the men’s soccer team and the women’s water polo team, and bronze for the Spaniards in handball.

Spain's water polo team won the silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Games
Spain’s water polo team won the silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 GamesAdick Berry / Agence France-Presse

Spanish handball remained on the podium at the meeting in which he bid farewell to many of the champions of his successes in recent years, starting with captain Raul Entreos, who left him at the age of forty. The medal was a good conclusion, although some of those veterans like Guardiola or Ferran Moros are still in the line. The women’s team failed to qualify for the quarter-finals.

The Brazilian men’s soccer team has renewed the Olympic title won in Rio 2016 with Neymar. He did so after defeating the powerful team presented by Spain in the event 2-1 in overtime in the final. Six former Olympians have ever played the European Cup: Unai Simon, Eric Garcia, Pau Torres, Pedri, Dani Olmo and Mikel Oyarzabal. In the female category, Canada has broken the dominance of the United States. They beat her in the semi-finals and beat Sweden on penalties in the final.

No gold since 1996 water polo

Only three Spanish teams have won the Olympic title: women’s field hockey, men’s soccer in 1992 and men’s water polo in 1996. This team, led by Manel Estiarte, beat Croatia 7-5 in the final and took revenge on the team that lost. , after three additional times, against Italy four years ago in Barcelona. Since then, the nine Spanish teams have lost their finals: the women’s water polo tournament in 2012 and in Tokyo 2020, men’s basketball in 2008 and 2012, and the basketball finals in 2016, all against the United States. United, as well as men’s field hockey players in 1996 against the Netherlands and in 2008 against Germany, and also for men’s football in 2000 and in Tokyo against Cameroon and Brazil.

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