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Legends of the Games: The most dominant competitors at the Tokyo Olympics

Legends of the Games: The most dominant competitors at the Tokyo Olympics
Posted at 3:45 PM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-08 05:14:05-04

Pitting the world's greatest athletes against one another, the Olympics frequently feature fantastic matchups. Extra innings, overtimes, shoot-offs, jump-offs -- fulcrum moments of competition come one after another as knuckles whiten and medals are decided.

And then, there are displays of utter dominance, when there was nary a doubt who'd emerge draped in gold.

Scroll down and familiarize yourself with the Olympic immortals that brought their best to Tokyo and further carved their busts into the annals of Games history...

Lasha Talakhadze -- Georgia -- Weightlifting

Lasha Talakhadze had three chances to set world records in the final weightlifting event of the Tokyo Olympics -- the men's 109kg category. He set three world records, and left little doubt. 

Snatch -- 223kg (491lbs)
Clean & Jerk -- 265kg (584lbs)
Combined -- 488kg (1,075lbs)

Talakhadze's first attempt in each category started at a higher weight than any of his competitors even attempted. 

The Georgian big man repeatedly flipped 500 pounds above his head with seeming ease. And, at 27 years of age, he's not done yet.

FULL STORY

SEE MORE: Lasha Talakhadze sets new weightlifting world records

Lisa Carrington -- New Zealand -- Canoe/Kayak

The consistency is remarkable. Shortly after the starting gun pops, Lisa Carrington is out in front.

The 32-year-old superstar paddler won three gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She took down the individual 200m kayak sprint, the individual 500m kayak sprint, and the two-person 500m kayak sprint.

Carrington now owns six Olympic medals (five golds) after her bronze in the K-1 500m at Rio 2016. 

FULL STORY

SEE MORE: Carrington paddles her way to second gold in the same day

Ma Long -- China -- Table Tennis

Widely considered to be the greatest table tennis player of all time, China's Ma Long is the best of the best in a country that stars around the table. 

Ma picked up two medals in Tokyo -- both gold. They'll match the three medals he won -- all gold -- over the 2012 and 2016 Games.

FULL STORY

SEE MORE: China's Ma Long wins historic 5th Olympic table tennis gold

Emma McKeon -- Australia -- Swimming

Australian swimmer Emma McKeon is taking home some serious hardware. Rough math says it took over 1,120 tons of electronic waste to harvest the precious metals that created the seven medals she's bringing back to the Southern Hemisphere. (Japan collected over 80,000 total tons of electronic waste to create this year's medals in a feat of metallurgy.)

The 27-year-old became just the second woman ever to win seven medals at a single Olympics, joining Soviet gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya, who scored big at the 1952 Helsinki Games.

McKeon has the most career medals for an Australian with 11, overtaking the record set by Ian Thorpe and Liesel Jones.

FULL STORY

SEE MORE: McKeon leads end-to-end, sets new Olympic record in 100 free

Svetlana Romashina -- ROC -- Artistic swimming

No artistic swimming conversation is complete unless Russian athlete Svetlana Romashina is heavily featured.

As Ma is to table tennis, Romashina is to artistic swimming -- the most elite from a country that dominates a discipline. Since 2000, athletes from Russia have won every artistic swimming gold. 

In Tokyo, Romashina became the first woman to win three consecutive duet golds. She has 39 total gold medals (and has never placed lower than first) across six European championships, seven world championships and four Olympic Games. At 31, she became oldest artistic swimmer to ever win an Olympic medal. 

FULL STORY

SEE MORE: Romashina breaks record, wins 6th artistic swimming gold

Caeleb Dressel -- United States -- Swimming

Caeleb Dressel took to the pool with familiar force, matching Michael Phelps as the only individuals to win five gold medals at a single Olympics since 1988.

Dressel touched first in the men's 100m freestyle, the men's 100m butterfly, the men's 50m freestyle, the men's 4x100m freestyle relay, and the men's 4x100m medley relay. 

He now has seven Olympic medals to his name -- all gold. 

FULL STORY

SEE MORE: Caeleb Dressel breaks 100m butterfly world record, wins gold

Viktor Axelsen -- Denmark -- Badminton

Denmark is not known for its dominance in badminton. But it was this year, at least on the men's side -- one man from Denmark in particular.

Viktor Axelsen went on an absolute Taz-like tear through the men's singles badminton competition. The man didn't drop a single game in his golden conquest, leaving the world's top players in his wake. 

FULL STORY

SEE MORE: Axelsen caps perfect tournament with gold in men's badminton

Mijain Lopez -- Cuba -- Greco-Roman wrestling

Cuba's Mijain Lopez won a record fourth straight gold in the Greco-Roman wrestling super heavyweight category at the Tokyo Olympics. 

At 38, Lopez became the fifth person to ever win four straight gold medals in the same individual event.

FULL STORY

SEE MORE: Mijain Lopez dominates, wins historic fourth straight gold

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