Twenty Year Medal Tables – The Complete List

Previews of the sports at Rio 2016, and the top medal winners in the years since 1996:

Archery, Heptathlon and Decathlon, Race Walking, Jumping Events, Throwing Events,

Distance Running, Sprinting, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Canoe Sprint,

Canoe Slalom, Cycling, Diving, Equestrian Sport, Fencing, Men’s Football,

Women’s Football, Men’s Artistic Gymnastics, Women’s Artistic Gymnastics,

Rhythmic Gymnastics, Trampolining, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Modern Pentathlon,

Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Synchronised Swimming, Table Tennis,

Taekwondo, Tennis, Triathlon, Indoor Volleyball, Beach Volleyball, Water Polo,

Weightlifting, Wrestling

Twenty Year Medal Table for Wrestling

Summer Olympic Games 1996 – 2012

Olympic Freestyle Wrestling at Excel - 66kg Gold Medal Match

Japan is historically one of the strongest nations in wresting, where the sport has grown out of its sumo tradition. But most of its recent medals have been on the women’s side, where it has won an extraordinary seven out of the twelve gold medals ever awarded. At London 2012, Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu was its first male champion since way back in 1988.

Turkey’s success dates back to the earlier London Olympics, in 1948, from which it took home six gold medals. Iran won its first title back in 1956 in Melbourne. Iran’s neighbour Azerbaijan is a rising power – though they have very different histories, there are many cultural commonalities between them. Azerbaijani government investment also helps.

Soviet wrestling medallists once came disproportionately from Georgia and, to a lesser extent, Azerbaijan. Since the Cold War came to an end, a startling 11 of Russia’s 25 gold medals have been due to Dagestan, a state which looks jealously across the border at its fellow Caucasians. Russia hopes that wrestling will check its independence ambitions.

G S B
Russia 25 10 13 48
United States 9 9 10 28
Japan 8 4 8 20
Cuba 5 5 4 14
Iran 5 4 5 14
South Korea 4 6 2 12
Azerbaijan 4 5 5 14
Uzbekistan 4 3 0 7
Turkey 4 1 6 11
Ukraine 3 5 6 14
Poland 3 1 3 7
Georgia 2 4 9 15
Bulgaria 2 3 4 9
Canada 2 3 2 7
China 2 3 2 7
Kazakhstan 1 4 9 14
Hungary 1 3 2 6
Armenia 1 2 3 6
France 1 1 4 6
Sweden 1 1 3 5
Egypt 1 1 0 2
North Korea 1 0 3 4
Italy 1 0 0 1
Belarus 0 3 5 8
Germany 0 2 2 4
Finland 0 2 1 3
India 0 1 2 3
Kyrgyzstan 0 1 1 2
Estonia 0 1 0 1
Puerto Rico 0 1 0 1
Tajikistan 0 1 0 1
Colombia 0 0 2 2
Greece 0 0 2 2
Lithuania 0 0 2 2
Macedonia 0 0 1 1
Moldova 0 0 1 1
Mongolia 0 0 1 1
Slovakia 0 0 1 1
Spain 0 0 1 1

 

Twenty Year Medal Table for Weightlifting

Summer Olympic Games 1996 – 2012

Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon 2

All seven of Thailand’s medals have been won by female lifters, including Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon, who has the longest name of any Olympic champion in history.

On the men’s side, Greece’s record is helped by Pyrros Dimas, whose three golds and a bronze between 1992 and 2004 make him the greatest ever weightlifter at the Games.

Unfortunately, for many other countries, including Kazakhstan, North Korea, Russia and Bulgaria, their success gives rise to suspicions of cheating, rather than any other explanation. All four have been hit by doping scandals within the last twelve months.

This table includes medals reallocated as a result of disqualifications. It does not take into account disqualifications where medals have yet to be reallocated, nor the results of retests of 2008 and 2012 samples, where disqualifications have yet to be confirmed.

G S B
China 25 8 2 35
Turkey 6 1 2 9
Kazakhstan 5 4 1 10
Greece 4 5 2 11
North Korea 4 3 3 10
Iran 4 2 1 7
Russia 3 13 10 26
Ukraine 3 2 3 8
Thailand 3 1 3 7
Bulgaria 2 3 3 8
South Korea 2 3 0 5
Germany 1 4 1 6
Belarus 1 3 6 10
Poland 1 3 3 7
Colombia 1 2 1 4
Croatia 1 0 1 2
Cuba 1 0 1 2
Georgia 1 0 1 2
United States 1 0 1 2
Mexico 1 0 0 1
Indonesia 0 3 5 8
Chinese Taipei 0 2 3 5
Hungary 0 2 1 3
Romania 0 1 2 3
Latvia 0 1 1 2
France 0 1 0 1
Japan 0 1 0 1
Nigeria 0 1 0 1
Vietnam 0 1 0 1
Armenia 0 0 5 5
Moldova 0 0 2 2
Australia 0 0 1 1
Azerbaijan 0 0 1 1
Canada 0 0 1 1
India 0 0 1 1
Qatar 0 0 1 1
Venezuela 0 0 1 1

Next: The leading country in wrestling and the region which produces most of its stars

Twenty Year Medal Table for Water Polo

Summer Olympic Games 1996 – 2012

Hrvatska vaterpolska reprezentacija 1 2010

Hungary has historically created the strongest water polo teams, as an extension of its swimming success. Its biggest rival during the Cold War era was Yugoslavia, which has continued its excellent record since its break-up, through Serbia and Croatia. Even tiny Montenegro has twice finished fourth, both times losing narrowly to Serbia for bronze.

The consistent podium finishes of Serbia’s men belie the frustration of their failure to win gold, unlike Croatia. As world champions, they are in good shape to put that right.

In the women’s event, gold medals have been distributed far and wide, but the United States has been in the top three at every Games, and will be favourite to retain its title.

G S B
Hungary 3 0 0 3
United States 1 3 1 5
Italy 1 1 1 3
Croatia 1 1 0 2
Spain 1 1 0 2
Australia 1 0 2 3
Netherlands 1 0 0 1
Serbia 0 1 3 4
Russia 0 1 2 3
Greece 0 1 0 1

Next: The countries which have raised their hopes above their heads in weightlifting

Twenty Year Medal Table for Beach Volleyball

Summer Olympic Games 1996 – 2012

Beach volley at the Beijing Olympics - Brazilian Semi-final - Fabio Luiz

Beach volleyball has had some incredible venues in its short Olympic history, including Bondi Beach and London’s Horse Guards Parade. But this year, it will visit Copacabana.

So popular is it, the largest television audience in Brazil during the 2008 Beijing Games was for a men’s quarter-final match. Brazil could be said to be the sport’s second home.

But its first home is California. Of fourteen athletes who have contributed nine medals for the United States, all but one grew up in one of four counties on the South Coast of the state. Three of them (plus one losing semi-finalist) are from Manhattan Beach, site of the long-running Manhattan Beach Open. Few regions are as dominant in any sport.

Latvia’s bronze in 2012 is less surprising with the realisation that it has more than 300 miles of sandy beaches, and the city of Jurmala is the biggest resort in the Baltic region.

G S B
United States 6 2 1 9
Brazil 2 6 3 11
Australia 1 0 1 2
Germany 1 0 1 2
China 0 1 1 2
Spain 0 1 0 1
Canada 0 0 1 1
Latvia 0 0 1 1
Switzerland 0 0 1 1

Next: The leading countries in water polo include some particularly fierce local rivals

Twenty Year Medal Table for Indoor Volleyball

Summer Olympic Games 1996 – 2012

Regla torres

Despite being a team game, volleyball is a sport in which a few individuals have made a huge difference. Eugenio George Laffita coached the Cuban women’s team to three gold medals in a row between 1992 and 2000. Regla Torres was one of the stars of that side.

The rise of volleyball in Brazil is attributed to Carlos Arthur Nuzman, who was elected the president of the Brazilian federation in 1975. He is credited with innovations such as introducing sponsorship of uniforms as a way of generating income for the team. He will have a ringside seat as president of the organising committee for the Games in Rio.

G S B
Brazil 3 2 2 7
Cuba 2 0 1 3
Russia 1 3 2 6
United States 1 2 0 3
China 1 1 1 3
Serbia 1 0 1 2
Netherlands 1 0 0 1
Italy 0 2 2 4
Japan 0 0 1 1

Next: Take away eight players and add sand – the leading countries in beach volleyball

Twenty Year Medal Table for Triathlon

Summer Olympic Games 1996 – 2012

Jolanda-Annen-EMGenf2015-2

Nicola Spirig won the most closely fought gold medal at London 2012, in a photo finish after two hours of racing. She took the gold at the European Games in 2015 but she has since been concentrating on Ironman races away from the main triathlon circuit. She is an unknown quantity – to retain her title in Rio would be a surprise but not impossible.

There are parallels between the Swiss success in triathlon and its even more impressive record in mountain biking. It has become a Kenya of Europe, where triathletes from all over the continent and beyond come to train, not to mention a very handy high altitude.

G S B
Switzerland 2 0 2 4
Australia 1 2 2 5
New Zealand 1 1 1 3
Canada 1 1 0 2
Germany 1 1 0 2
Great Britain 1 0 1 2
Austria 1 0 0 1
Portugal 0 1 0 1
Spain 0 1 0 1
Sweden 0 1 0 1
Czech Republic 0 0 1 1
United States 0 0 1 1

Next: Which are the diggiest, bumpiest, and spikiest, leading countries in volleyball?

Twenty Year Medal Table for Tennis

Summer Olympic Games 1996 – 2012

Roger Federer House of Switzerland Olympic Games London 2012

There is a straightforward explanation for Chile’s record in Olympic tennis – blind luck. Nicolas Massu never reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam but a shock defeat for Roger Federer cleared his path to win a gold medal in 2004. His compatriot Fernando Gonzalez won the bronze, and they joined forces to claim another gold in the doubles.

Gonzalez, who never won a major either, upgraded to a silver in 2008, also benefitting from Federer’s woes, then losing to Rafael Nadal in the final. Federer made amends with victory in the doubles with Stan Wawrinka. After Andy Murray’s title at London 2012, only Novak Djokovic of the top men’s players is missing a gold medal. Rio is his chance.

The top women of their era, Venus and Serena Williams, have won a title each in singles, and another three together in doubles. Five of Team USA’s nine golds are down to them.

G S B
United States 9 1 3 13
Russia 2 3 2 7
Chile 2 1 1 4
Spain 1 4 2 7
Great Britain 1 2 0 3
Australia 1 1 1 3
Switzerland 1 1 0 2
Belarus 1 0 1 2
Belgium 1 0 1 2
China 1 0 1 2
Canada 1 0 0 1
France 0 2 2 4
Czech Republic 0 2 1 3
Germany 0 2 1 3
Netherlands 0 1 0 1
Sweden 0 1 0 1
Argentina 0 0 2 2
Croatia 0 0 1 1
India 0 0 1 1
Serbia 0 0 1 1

Next: Federer would be pleased to learn the country which leads the way in triathlon

Twenty Year Medal Table for Taekwondo

Summer Olympic Games 1996 – 2012

Anne-Caroline Graffe 2012

Despite its origins in South Korea, which still heads the medal table by a large margin, taekwondo has done a particularly good job of spreading itself around the world. The eight gold medallists in London were all from different countries, and 21 nations from Afghanistan to Gabon kicked up precious metal. Even the South Pacific was able to get into the act with France’s silver medallist, Anne-Caroline Graffe, who hails from Tahiti.

Taekwondo is proving popular in Latin America, notably Mexico. The sport is so big in Honduras that its former president was a black belt, though it is still without a medal.

Chinese Taipei attended ten Olympic Games between 1956 and 2000 and failed to win gold, but then managed it twice in taekwondo, ten minutes apart, on 26 August 2004.

G S B
South Korea 10 2 2 14
China 5 1 2 8
United States 2 2 4 8
Chinese Taipei 2 1 5 8
Mexico 2 1 3 6
Iran 2 1 2 5
Turkey 1 3 2 6
Greece 1 3 0 4
Spain 1 3 0 4
Cuba 1 2 2 5
Italy 1 1 1 3
Australia 1 1 0 2
Great Britain 1 0 2 3
Argentina 1 0 0 1
Serbia 1 0 0 1
France 0 2 4 6
Norway 0 2 0 2
Russia 0 1 2 3
Thailand 0 1 2 3
Canada 0 1 1 2
Germany 0 1 1 2
Dominican Republic 0 1 0 1
Gabon 0 1 0 1
Vietnam 0 1 0 1
Croatia 0 0 3 3
Afghanistan 0 0 2 2
Venezuela 0 0 2 2
Brazil 0 0 1 1
Colombia 0 0 1 1
Egypt 0 0 1 1
Japan 0 0 1 1
Kazakhstan 0 0 1 1
Nigeria 0 0 1 1

Next: The big names of tennis have had Olympic glory but there are some surprises too

Twenty Year Medal Table for Table Tennis

Summer Olympic Games 1996 – 2012

2012 Summer Olympics Men's Team Table Tennis Final 1

During the last twenty years, China has won 95% of gold medals and 59% of medals of any colour. Getting into the Chinese team is now so competitive that many have left to seek their fortunes elsewhere, and China’s dominance is made even more emphatic by the fact that all of the medallists for Singapore, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei were born on the Chinese mainland. Only South Korea has been able to put up a challenge.

The Chinese diaspora will reach an extraordinary new peak in Rio, especially in the case of female players. Of the 86 qualifiers for the women’s events, 28 were born in China, a third of the total, but only three will turn out for the country of their birth. The others will represent 17 different teams, as diverse as Turkey, Luxembourg, Congo and Brazil.

Far from being inevitable, the growth of the sport in China started from a chance event, a Communist sympathiser becoming head of the International Table Tennis Federation.

G S B
China 19 11 6 36
South Korea 1 2 6 9
Germany 0 1 3 4
Singapore 0 1 2 3
Chinese Taipei 0 1 1 2
Hong Kong 0 1 0 1
Japan 0 1 0 1
North Korea 0 1 0 1
Sweden 0 1 0 1
Denmark 0 0 1 1
France 0 0 1 1

Next: Which countries have given the biggest kick to their taekwondo medal chances?