Tokyo Olympics close as Boris Johnson hails Team GB as 'the very best of us'

8 August 2021, 14:24 | Updated: 8 August 2021, 14:38

Boris Johnson heaped praise on Team GB, represented by Laura Kenny at the closing ceremony
Boris Johnson heaped praise on Team GB, represented by Laura Kenny at the closing ceremony. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Boris Johnson and Prince Charles have heaped praise on Team GB after two weeks of competition saw the country pick up 65 medals in Tokyo.

The 2020 Olympics, delayed by a year because of the coronavirus outbreak, came to an end with a closing ceremony on Sunday.

Though the games saw a fraction of the stadium audiences the Olympics would expect, enthralled TV viewers in Britain saw their team finish fourth in the medal table, with 22 golds, behind the US, China and hosts Japan.

In a tweet, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall said: "Congratulations to the #TeamGB athletes on your incredible #Tokyo2020 performance! You did brilliantly.

"Wishing the best of luck to those preparing for the #Paralympics."

Boris Johnson said: "These past two weeks, Team GB have shown us the very best of this country - demonstrating our sportsmanship, hard work and determination.

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"From record-breaking performances in the pool to gravity-defying runs in skateboarding and BMX, this team has shown extraordinary depth and breadth of talent.

"I want to thank each and every one of our Olympians and all those behind the scenes whose hours of coaching and training have been instrumental to our success.

"This team has shown that even in the most difficult circumstances, sport brings people together and changes lives. You have shown grace in victory and amazing courage in defeat.

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An impressive ceremony closed out the Tokyo Olympics
An impressive ceremony closed out the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Alamy

"And whilst you may not have heard the roar of the crowd in Tokyo, every one of you has given us a reason to cheer back home - in living rooms, pubs, parks and offices across the land.

"Above all, you have again revealed the central truth about this country: that when we put our minds to it, there is no limit to what we can achieve. Thank you Team GB. We are so, so proud of you. Now bring on Paris!"

The games saw Jason Kenny, the cyclist, become the most successful British Olympian in history when he took his seventh gold medal.

The closing ceremony ended more than two weeks of competition
The closing ceremony ended more than two weeks of competition. Picture: Alamy

His wife Laura Kenny is Britain's most successful Olympian, having now won golds at three Olympics and matching Charlotte Dujardin, who competes in the equestrian events, on six medals.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer praised Kenny's "phenomenal" ride in the keirin on Sunday and added: "Jason has thrilled us through four Olympics winning more medals and golds than any other British athlete in history. Simply superb."