For many nations, winning gold isn't a big feat, but for some its a revelation, something which not only unites the whole country but inspires their countrymen to take up the sport and replicate the win in the near future. As Michael Phelps' won his astonishing 23rd gold medal, many athletes grabbed their first for their nations, making them overnight heroes. The games witnessed many upsets right from Fiji overcoming Great Britain in the rugby sevens final to Singapore's Joseph Schooling pulling off a stunning Olympic upset by beating Phelps in the 100m butterfly. Here are the nations that tasted success in the Rio Olympics.
Kenyan-born Ruth Jebet produced an stunning display of front running to win Bahrain's first Olympic gold when she claimed the women's 3000m steeplechase. Jebet timed an Asian record of 8min 59.75sec, missing out on the world record by less than a second.
"Stratospheric" Fiji claimed their first Olympic medal ever by hammering Britain 43-7 to win the inaugural men's rugby sevens final at the Rio Games. Fiji captain Osea Kolinisau led the defending Sevens World Series champions as they ruthlessly won the first Olympic rugby competition in 92 years.
Independent Olympic Athletes
Kuwait's Fehaid al-Deehani, competing at the Rio Games as an independent athlete, won men's double trap gold. Al-Deehani, bronze medallist in Sydney and London, was forced to take part in Brazil as a neutral as Kuwait is suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over government interference in sport.
Cheick Sallah Cisse was the toast of the Ivory Coast as he won their first ever Olympic gold medal with a killer kick in the last second of the men's under-80kg taekwondo final.
Ahmad Abughaush made history by winning Jordan's first ever Olympic medal, claiming gold in the men's under 68kg taekwondo division in Rio. The 20-year-old beat Alexey Denisenko of Russia 10-6 in the final as South Korea's Lee Dae-hoon and Joel Gonzalez of Spain won the bronze medals.
Majlinda Kelmendi won Kosovo's first ever Olympic gold medal at its maiden Games putting her fledgling country on the sporting map and sending a message of hope to its new generation. Kosovo declared independence in 2008 from Serbia, whose forces fought to stop breakaway rebels in 1998-99. One of the poorest parts of Europe, it has since had its own scrap for recognition.
Monica Puig won Puerto Rico's first ever Olympic gold medal when she defeated Germany's Angelique Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the women's tennis singles final. The 22-year-old Florida-based Puig defied her ranking of 34 to get the better of world number two and Australian Open champion Kerber.
Joseph Schooling pulled off a stunning Olympic upset by beating US legend Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly to win Singapore's first ever gold medal. Asian champion Schooling, 21, completed a wire-to-wire victory to deny Phelps a fourth successive title in the event, winning in a Games record 50.39sec. Phelps, amazingly, tied with both Chad le Clos and Laszlo Cseh for the silver.
Dilshod Nazarov handed Tajikistan its first ever Olympic gold medal when he won the men's hammer. Nazarov, world silver medallist in Beijing last year, heaved a best of 78.68 metres to finish ahead of Belarus' convicted doping cheat Ivan Tsikhan (77.79m).
Hoang Xuan Vinh ended Vietnam's six-decade wait for a first Olympic gold medal but he wasn't about to make a song and dance about his historic feat. The 41-year-old military officer finally struck the Olympic bullseye for Vietnam to deny Brazil an opening day title at the Rio Games.
(With inputs from AP)
First Published On : Aug 22, 2016 22:40 IST