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In photos: Asia’s athletes at the Tokyo Olympics

From world records to near-misses, historic firsts and victory in the face of personal challenges, Asia’s athletes at the Tokyo Olympics made headlines throughout the Games. Here’s a look back at some of their most memorable moments.

In photos: Asia’s athletes at the Tokyo Olympics

(Photos: AFP/Vincenzo Pinto, Jung Yeon-je, Anne-Christine Poujoulat, Alexander Nemenov, Ina Fassbender)

SINGAPORE: After a one-year delay, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad finally took place in Tokyo in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But while the impact of the coronavirus was always visible, it faded into the background once the athletes got down to business.

Asia’s athletes had a particularly good Games: China was a constant at the top of the medal table. Japan, India, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei recorded their biggest medal hauls. The Philippines won their first gold medal.

While Singapore had a disappointing campaign – not winning a medal for the first time since Athens in 2004, as Joseph Schooling relinquished his 100m butterfly crown – Yu Mengyu’s run to the semi-finals of the women’s singles table tennis tournament and the sailing heroics of Kimberly Lim and Cecilia Low captured the imagination.

And for some, being there to fly their flags was an achievement in itself.

Here’s a look back at Asia’s moments at Tokyo 2020.

(Photo: AFP/Andrej Isakovic)

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic Cauldron during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Jul 23, 2021.

(Photo: AFP/Tauseef Mustafa)

China's Yang Qian celebrates on the podium after winning the women's 10m air rifle final to claim the first gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics at the Asaka Shooting Range on Jul 24, 2021. 

(Photo: AFP/Javier Soriano)

Thailand's Panipak Wongpattanakit (in blue) and Spain's Adriana Cerezo Iglesias compete in the women's -49kg taekwondo gold medal bout at the Makuhari Messe Hall on Jul 24, 2021. Panipak went on to win the contest 11-10.

(Photo: Facebook/Kong Chong Yew/SNOC)

Singaporean fencer Kiria Tikanah (left) in action against Hong Kong’s Coco Lin in the women's individual epee event on Jul 24, 2021. Kiria went on to win 15-11 to progress to the table of 32, where she fell to the eventual silver medallist Ana Maria Popescu of Romania.

(Photo: AFP/Andrej Isakovic)

Italy's Chiara Consolini (centre) fights for the ball with Mongolia's Solongo Bayasgalan (left) and Chimeddolgor Enkhtaivan during their women's 3x3 basketball first round match at the Aomi Urban Sports Park on Jul 24, 2021. Tokyo 2020 marked the first time that Mongolia was represented in a team sport at the Olympics.

(Photo: Reuters/Edgard Garrido)

Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines celebrates after a lift during the women's 55kg weightlifting competition at the Tokyo International Forum on Jul 26, 2021. Diaz became the Philippines' first ever Olympic gold medallist at Tokyo 2020. 

(Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

Hong Kong's Cheung Ka Long (left) competes against Italy's Daniele Garozzo in the men’s individual foil gold medal bout at the Makuhari Messe Hall on Jul 26, 2021. Cheung won 15-11 to capture the city's first Olympic gold medal since Atlanta 1996. 

(Photo: AFP/Lionel Bonaventure)

Japan's Momiji Nishiya competes in the women's skateboarding street final at the Ariake Sports Park on Jul 26, 2021. The 13-year-old went on to take the gold, becoming one of the youngest individual champions in Olympic history. 

(Photo: AFP/Alexander Nemenov)

Myanmar's Thet Htar Thuzar reacts between points with Belgium's Lianne Tan in their women's singles badminton group stage match at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza on Jul 27, 2021. Tan won 21-6, 21-8.

(Photo: AP/Matthias Schrader)

Yui Ohashi of Japan reacts after winning the women's 200m individual medley at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Jul 28, 2021, completing a medley double after her win in the 400m three days earlier. 

(Photo: AFP/Lionel Bonaventure)

Japan's Daiki Hashimoto competes in the floor event of the artistic gymnastics men's all-around final at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on Jul 28, 2021. He won gold, succeeding his compatriot Kohei Uchimura. 

(Photo: AFP/Francois-Xavier Marit)

An underwater view shows Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey compete to win a semi-final of the women's 100m freestyle swimming event at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Jul 29, 2021. With her two silver medals at the Tokyo Olympics, Haughey became Hong Kong's most decorated Olympian. 

(Photo: AFP/Attila Kisbenedek)

China's Yang Junxuan, Tang Muhan and Zhang Yufei celebrate as team-mate Li Bingjie completes the final leg of the women's 4x200m freestyle relay to win gold at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Jul 29, 2021, setting a new world record in the process.

(Photo: AFP/Jung Yeon-je)

Singapore's Yu Mengyu serves to China's Chen Meng during the women's singles table tennis semi-finals at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Jul 29, 2021. Yu finished the tournament in fourth place.

(Photo: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

An San of South Korea in action during the women's individual archery 1/32 elimination round at the Yumenoshima Archery Field on Jul 29, 2021. An San became the first archer to win three gold medals at a single Games at Tokyo 2020. 

(Photo: AFP/Jewel Samad)

Malaysia's Azreen Nabila Alias (right) and Congo's Natacha Ngoye Akamabi compete in the women's 100m heats at the Olympic Stadium on Jul 30, 2021. Nabila finished with a time of 11.91 seconds, having recorded a personal best of 11.77 seconds in the preliminary round. 

(Photo: Kong Chong Yew/SNOC)

Singapore's Kimberly Lim and Cecilia Low compete in the women's 49er FX event at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour on Jul 31, 2021. The duo became the first Singaporean sailors to qualify for a medal race at the Olympics, eventually finishing 10th overall. 

(Photo: AFP/Pedro Pardo)

Malaysia's Soh Wooi Yik and Aaron Chia (top) celebrate as they win the men's doubles badminton bronze medal match against Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan (left) and Hendra Setiawan at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza on Jul 31, 2021. 

(Photo: AFP/Alexander Nemenov)

Chinese Taipei's Lee Yang (left) is presented with his gold medal by partner Wang Chi-lin after the pair won the men's doubles badminton event at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza on Jul 31, 2021. 

(Photo: AFP/Pedro Pardo)

China's Chen Yufei (left) greets Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu-ying after winning the women's singles badminton final at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza on Aug 1, 2021.

(Photo: AFP/Kazuhiro Nogi)

Chinese Taipei's CT Pan hugs his wife and caddie Michelle Lin after he won bronze in the men’s golf tournament at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe, Japan, on Aug 1, 2021. 

(Photo: AFP/Anne-Christine Poujoulat)

Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian set a new Asian record of 9.83 seconds in the 100m semi-final on Aug 1, 2021, and became the first Asian man to qualify for the final of the event since 1932. He finished sixth in the final. 

(Photo: Reuters/Dylan Martinez)

Men's high jump gold medallists Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar (left) and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy celebrate on the podium at the Olympic Stadium on Aug 2, 2021. Their shared title was the first in athletics at the Olympics since 1912. 

(Photo: AFP/Alexander Nemenov)

Indonesia's Apriyani Rahayu (left) and Greysia Polii celebrate after winning the women's doubles badminton final against China's Jia Yifan and Chen Qingchen at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza on Aug 2, 2021.

(Photo: Twitter/Olympics, bwfmedia, badmintonphoto)

Viktor Axelsen of Denmark (left) trades shirts with Chen Long of China after the final of the badminton men's singles tournament. Axelsen took the gold with a 21-15, 21-12 victory over Chen, the defending champion. 

(Photo: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino)

Women's featherweight silver medallist Nesthy Petecio (left) of the Philippines stands next to gold medallist Sena Irie of Japan at the Kokugikan Arena on Aug 3, 2021.

(Photo: AP/John Locher)

India's Nilakanta Sharma (18) and Sumit celebrate as Germany's Lukas Windfeder (right) reacts after India's 5-4 victory in the men's field hockey bronze medal match on Aug 5, 2021. The medal was India's first in hockey in 41 years.

(Photo: Reuters/Marko Djurica)

Quan Hongchan of China celebrates with her coach after winning gold in the women's 10m platform diving event at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Aug 5, 2021. At the age of 14, Quan was China's youngest athlete at Tokyo 2020. 

(Photo: AP/John Minchillo)

India's Neha Goyal kneels on the pitch after her side lost the women's field hockey bronze medal match 4-3 to Great Britain on Aug 6, 2021. 

(Photo: AP/Darron Cummings)

Aditi Ashok of India hits a tee shot on the 17th hole during the third round of the women's golf event at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe, Japan, on Aug 6, 2021. She would finish fourth, just two shots behind gold medallist Nelly Korda of the United States.

(Photo: AFP/Alexander Nemenov)

Japan's Ryo Kiyuna holds a portrait of his late mother with his men's kata gold medal during the karate competition at the Nippon Budokan on Aug 6, 2021. 

(Photo: AFP/Ben Stansall)

India's Neeraj Chopra competes in the men's javelin throw final at the Olympic Stadium on Aug 7, 2021. He went on to win India's first gold medal of Tokyo 2020, and only its second individual gold ever.

(Photo: Reuters/Jorge Silva)

Japan celebrate winning the baseball gold medal match against the United States at the Yokohama Baseball Stadium on Aug 7, 2021.

(Photo: AFP/Odd Andersen)

Malaysia's Azizulhasni Awang celebrates after taking silver in the men's track cycling keirin final at the Izu Velodrome in Izu, Japan, on Aug 8, 2021. 

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Source: Agencies/CNA/kg


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