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On the final day of Tokyo 2020, Kellie Harrington gave Ireland another medal. This resulted in Ireland climbing into the top 40 of the Olympic medal table, that’s the highest finish for Ireland since Atlanta in 1996.
In total, Team Ireland came out with two gold medals: One for the men’s lightweight double sculls rowing (won by Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy), one for Harrington in the women’s lightweight boxing. Ireland also won two bronze medals, one for Aidan Walsh in welterweight boxing and the other for the rowing quarter (consisting of Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty).
This tally put Ireland into a tie for 39th place in the medal table, shared with Israel.
Standout numbers for Irish Olympics
It isn’t Ireland’s best performance ever in terms of medal ranking however. In the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Ireland finished 28th on the table. Four years earlier in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Ireland finished 33rd.
At this Olympics, 116 athletes competed for Ireland.
International Medal Wins
The United States topped the table with 113 medals followed by China in 2nd (88 medals) and Japan in 3rd (58). From there to the top ten the table went, in order, Great Britain, Russian Olympic Committee, Australia, Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy
At 12 years old Kokona Hiraki became the youngest medallist in Tokyo taking a silver medal for Japan. Andrew Hoy, at 62 years old, was the oldest medallist, winning a bronze for Australia in equestrian.
Of the 206 countries that participated in the games, 93 came away with medals. 65 of them came away with at least one gold.
San Marino won the first three Olympic medals in its history. Turkmenistan and Burkina Faso also won their first ever Olympic medals.
Ireland at Paris 2024
Chief executive of the Olympic Federation of Ireland, Peter Sherrard said he was happy with Ireland’s performance at the games. Speaking to RTÉ, he said: “We do need to be continuing to aim higher and we do that within the high performance plan for Paris and beyond for LA.”
He added that New Zealand (who won 20 medals) and Denmark are countries that Ireland should be seeking to emulate.
“Hopefully we can achieve more. We should be ambitious,” Sherrard said. He also noted that Ireland’s medals and top ten performance were from a wider range of sports than ever before. “Previously it would have been really traditionally just relying on boxing,” he said.
In total, Ireland has won 35 medals, 18 of them, or just over half, have been in boxing.