With the conclusion of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Sunday, we have a look at some of the surprise talents that stunned the world in Japan.
LAMONT MARCELL JACOBS
There is no doubt that Italy’s Jacobs produced arguably the shock result of the Olympics – and one of the biggest shocks in Olympic history.
Jacobs claimed victory in the star-studded 100m final, storming out of athletics obscurity to take gold in a time of 9.80sec.
A few days later the 26-year-old helped Italy win a 4x100m relay gold, capping a remarkable transformation for a sprinter who had never broken the 10-second barrier this season.
Though many already know her name, she made history and ensured that nobody will ever forget the name Hassan when it comes to the Olympics.
The Dutch runner won three medals – A gold in the women’s 10,000m, another gold in the 5,000m and added a bronze to her tally in the 1,500m.
Hassan, 28, was born in Ethiopia but came to the Netherlands as a refugee in 2008. She is now in the conversation as one of the greatest distance runners in Olympic history.
Schoenmaker announced herself on the Olympic stage in style when she smashed the women’s 200m breaststroke world record to claim South Africa’s first gold in the pool since 1996.
The 24-year-old had already won silver in the 100m and threatened Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen’s 200m world benchmark in the heats.
She then battled to clock 2min 18.95sec in the final and clip 0.16s off Moller Pedersen’s record.
Japanese 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya captured hearts when she won the first Olympic women’s skateboarding street gold — beating an even younger rival into second place.
Nishiya became one of the youngest individual gold medalists in Olympic history when her stunning sequence of tricks put her ahead of Brazil’s Rayssa Leal – 127 days her junior.
Nishiya, who was one of many teenage tyros ripping up the skate park as the sport made its Olympic debut, said she wanted to celebrate by eating at a barbecue beef restaurant.
At just 19 years old, Mu announced her arrival on the biggest stage of all with a spectacular victory in the 800m, becoming the first American winner of the event since 1968.
Mu, whose parents moved to the United States from Sudan before she was born, is expected to add the 400m to her repertoire, raising the prospect of a 400m-800m double at the 2024 Paris Olympics.