Ten nations won their first ever Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016

87 teams won medals in Brazil

BY Daniel Kelly 09:44 Monday 22 August 2016, 9:44 22 Aug 2016

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

The 2016 Olympic Games has come and gone, with 87 teams winning at least one medal. Of the 87 teams that medaled, 59 were lucky enough to win gold.

While many eyes were on Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Simone Biles, other athletes became legends in their own countries, as ten teams won their first ever Olympic gold medals.


The Gulf state won its first ever Olympic medal in London four years ago, and quickly followed it up with their first gold medal in Rio. Kenyan-born Ruth Jebet won the 3,000-metres steeplechase, as Bahrain's team returned home with two medals (one gold and one silver).


A national holiday was declared in Fiji when its men's rugby sevens team defeated Great Britain in the final. Despite competing in the Olympics since 1956, the gold medal won by the men's team was first ever medal of any kind won by the the Pacific island.


Fiji's Rugby Sevens team. Picture by: Owen Humphreys / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Independent Olympic Athletes (Kuwait)

Kuwait did not send a team to Rio 2016, but many Kuwaiti athletes competed under the Olympic flag. Fehaid Al-Deehani won the men's double-trap shooting event, becoming the first ever Kuwaiti to win an Olympic gold medal. He also became the first Olympic champion competing as an Independent Olympic Athlete.

Côte d'Ivoire

Taekwondo has seen Ivory Coast win their first Olympic medals since 1984. A gold and a bronze helped the African nation to their best ever Games. Cheick Sallah Cisse won gold defeating Great Britain's Lutalo Muhammad in the 80kg Final, landing a crucial kick just one second from the end of their bout.


Like Côte d'Ivoire, Jordan won their first ever Olympic gold medal at Taekwondo. Ahmad Abughaush won the men's 68kg Final defeating a Russian opponent. It's Jordan's first, and only, Olympic medal.


For the first time as an independent nation, Kosovo competed at at the Olympic Games this summer. The Balkan nation returned home with a gold medal after Majlinda Kelmendi was victorious in the 52kg judo competition.

Puerto Rico

The women's tennis tournament saw many top-seeds fall in the early stages, including the champion Serena Williams. Puerto Rico's Monica Puig, who has failed to reach the quarter-finals in a Grand Slam defeated Germany's Angelique Kerber in three-sets in the final. 

Monica Puig. Picture by: Vadim Ghirda / AP/Press Association Images


London 2012 remains the only time Singapore won more than a single medal at an Olympic Games, but the nation finally struck gold in the swimming pool. Joseph Schooling became a national hero when he defeated Michael Phelps, Chad Le Clos and Laszlo Cseh to win the 100-metres butterfly by 0.85 seconds.


Dilshod Nazarov won the men's hammer throw in the Olympic Stadium to claim gold for Tajikistan. The country had previously won three medals, including two in Beijing, but Nazarov was the first to win a track-and-field medal, with the previous three coming in combat sports.


Hoang Xuan Vinh has won 50% of Vietnam's Olympic medals, doubling their all-time tally at Rio 2016. The shooter won gold in the 10-metre air pistol competition, before following it up with a silver in the 50-metre pistol competition.

While the traditional superpowers continue to dominate the medal table, it's refreshing to see new teams reach the top of the podium. Let's hope we see more of the same in Tokyo in 2020.


"This is a legal issue": AIBA President warns Michael Conlan faces disciplinary action

09:00 Monday 22 August 2016 0 Minute Read

Rio closing ceremony passes Olympic baton to Tokyo

07:41 Monday 22 August 2016 0 Minute Read

In Pictures: The Rio 2016 Closing Ceremony brings the curtain down on the Olympics

02:40 Monday 22 August 2016 0 Minute Read

Brazilian judge orders the seizure of John Delaney's passport

22:07 Sunday 21 August 2016 0 Minute Read
Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week