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Which nations have claimed their first-ever medals in Tokyo?

Which nations have claimed their first-ever medals in Tokyo?
Posted at 2:03 AM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 03:55:23-04

Entering the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, 71 current National Olympic Committees had never won an Olympic medal; 109 had never won Olympic gold. After this year's Games, that number has shrunk.

88 different nations have won a medal in Tokyo -- an Olympic record. Some of those nations had never been represented on an Olympic podium before.

63 different nations have won a gold medal in Tokyo -- also an Olympic record. Some had never heard their national anthems play at an Olympic medal ceremony.

Weightlifters, triathletes, and trap shooters, to name a few, have all made history, bringing home hardware to their nations for the first time.

Take a look at who they are and how they did it...

FIRST OLYMPIC MEDAL

Turkmenistan

The Turkmen flag has been flown at every Olympics since 1996, but an athlete from the central Asian had never stood on the podium.

That was, until 21-year-old weightlifter Polina Guryeva won the silver medal in the women's 59-kg competition.

Guryeva lifted a combined 217 kg (478 lbs) with a 96 kg (211 lbs) snatch and a 121 kg (267 lbs) clean & jerk. The score also marked a personal best, topping her previous combined high of 211 kg (465 lbs) at the 2020 Asian Championships.

Despite it being her Olympic debut, Guryeva beat out an experienced field that included Andoh Mikiko (JPN) and Maria Alexandra Escobar Guerrero (ECU), both of which have posted impressive results in previous Olympics.

SEE MORE: Turkmenistan takes home first ever Olympic medal

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San Marino

It took 61 years, but the tiny European nation of San Marino finally claimed a place on the Olympic podium on Day 7.

Then, two days later, it happened again. And then, four days later, a third time.

Trap shooter Alessandra Perilli won San Marino its first Olympic medal in 25 tries when she finished third in the women's trap shooting final. She hit 29 of 40 clays, comfortably clearing Australian shooter Laetisha Scanlan in fourth.

Then, on Day 9, Perilli and Gian Marco Berti competed in the mixed trap team gold medal match against Spain. They lost by one target in a dramatic final that came down to the final round, winning San Marino its first Olympic silver medal.

Apparently, two wasn't enough for the nation with the fifth smallest population in the world. On Day 13, wrestler Myles Amine won bronze in the men's freestyle 86 kg class with a takedown in the final seconds of the bout.

SEE MORE: San Marino wins first Olympic medal in nation's history

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Burkina Faso

Flagbearer on Day 0, Olympic medalist on Day 13.

Triple jumper Hugues Fabrice Zango finished third in the men's triple jump, winning the West African nation of Burkina Faso -- which has sent athletes to every summer Olympics since 1988 -- its first ever medal, a bronze.

Zango's jump of 17.47m was just 0.03m better than American Will Claye, who won silver in the triple jump at Rio 2016 and London 2012.

SEE MORE: Burkina Faso's first medal brings Tokyo Games into record territory

FIRST OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL

Philippines

Filipino athletes had stood on the Olympic podium twelve times in the past, but it was lucky number thirteen that put them on the top step.

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the southeast Asian nation its first ever gold medal, setting Olympic records in both the clean & jerk and total score in the women's 55 kg competition.

The battle was a fascinating one between Diaz and Liao Qiuyun (CHN), who went lift for lift with each other all the way through the final round. Diaz's record 127 kg (280 lbs) clean & jerk barely topped Liao's mark of 126 kg (278 lbs) on the way to gold.

SEE MORE: Weightlifter Diaz wins Philippines' first-ever Olympic gold

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Bermuda

The small Caribbean nation of Bermuda had only claimed one medal before Tokyo 2020 -- a bronze at Montreal 1976 courtesy of heavyweight boxer Clarence Hill.

Triathlete Flora Duffy put her nation on the top step of the podium for the first time in its history on Day 4, as her blisteringly quick pace through the bike and run portions of women's triathlon helped her win gold by over a minute.

She beat out a field that included London 2012 gold medalist Nicola Spirig (SUI) and Rio 2016 bronze medalist Vicky Holland (GBR).

Duffy is one of just two athletes competing under the Bermudian flag in Tokyo, alongside rower Dara Alizadeh.

SEE MORE: Flora Duffy wins rain-soaked triathlon

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Qatar

What's better than winning your first ever gold medal at the Olympics?

Winning two.

Qatar's first ever Olympic gold medal came in convincing fashion from weightlifter Fares Ibrahim Elbakh. The Qatari ran through the men's 96 kg competition on Day 8 of the Tokyo Olympics, recording clean & jerk lifts of 217 kg (478 lbs) and 225 kg (496 lbs) -- the two heaviest lifts of the entire competition. His total score of 402 kg (886 lbs) marked an Olympic record.

Qatar's second gold came in the men's high jump just one day later, and the moment went viral instantlyMutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy were tied atop the leaderboard at the end of the event and were expected to go to a jump-off.

Instead, the two agreed to share the gold medal, and the ensuing scene has since become one of the Games' indelible moments.

Barshim, who won bronze in the high jump at London 2012 and Rio 2016, stood on the Olympic top step for the first time. And for the second time in two days, the Qatari national anthem was played in Tokyo.

SEE MORE: Barshim, Tamberi forgo jump-off to share high jump gold

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