The Tokyo 2020 Olympics provided plenty of highlights and historical moments, many of which came from athletes representing African countries.
Kenya for example, finished 19th in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics medal table, won the most of any African country with 10 total medals, including four gold. In total, 13 African nations won medals at the Games this year.
Eliud Kipchoge, Kenya: The 36-year-old marathoner is considered among the “greatest of all time,” and Kipchoge showed it once again at the Tokyo Olympics, winning gold in the men’s marathon. That’s back-to-back wins for the Kenyan superstar, making him only the third man ever to defend his gold medal in this event.
Peres Jepchirchir, Kenya: Kipchoge’s fellow Kenyan took gold in the women’s marathon with a time of 2:27:20, just ahead of teammate and world record-holder Brigid Kosgei, who took the silver medal.
Peruth Chemutai, Uganda: On the track inside Tokyo’s National Stadium, Chemutai entered the record books for Uganda in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase by becoming the first woman to win gold for her country in any sport.
Joshua Cheptegei, Uganda: More history for Uganda came from world record-holder Cheptegei, who won gold in the men’s 5,000m and silver in the men’s 10,000m — becoming the first Ugandan to win two Olympic medals at the same Games.
Feryal Abdelaziz, Egypt: In the women’s +61kg karate kumite event, which made its debut at Tokyo 2020, Abdelaziz (left) became the first woman from Egypt to win a gold medal for her country.
Faith Kipyegon, Kenya: Kenya celebrated more record-breaking success on the track when Kipyegon defended her gold medal in the women’s 1,500m, setting a new Olympic record in the process.
Uche Eke, Nigeria: The young athlete became the first gymnast to qualify and compete for Nigeria at the Olympics.
Tatjana Schoenmaker, South Africa: A bright spot for South Africa in Tokyo was Schoenmaker, who won swimming gold in the women’s 200m breaststroke by setting a world record. She also took the silver medal in the women’s 100m breaststroke.
Selemon Barega, Ethiopia: Crossing the finish line ahead of Ugandans Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo, Barega captured the gold medal in the men’s 10,000 meters.
Ahmed Hafnaoui, Tunisia: In men’s swimming, a teenager shocked the field when 18-year-old Halnaoui took gold in the men’s 400m freestyle — the first swimming medal for Tunisia since 2012.
Soufiane El Bakkali, Morocco: Morocco made history with its first gold in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase, when El Bakkali topped an all-Africa podium ahead of Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma (left) who took silver and Kenya’s Benjamin Kigen (right) with the bronze.