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Top 10 countries that dominate specific sports

  • Some countries dominate specific sports and are powerhouses of athletes who go on to excel at the Olympics. Here we profile 10 such countries.
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Modified 20 Dec 2019, 05:45 IST

With the Rio Olympics 2016 just a year away, there is a lot of buzz in the media about various countries sending their star players to special preparation camps for the Olympics. Athletes qualifying for Rio make news on television channels these days. While there are a few countries that excel in a single sport, there are countries which are powerhouses of athletes, dominating more than one.

It seems surreal, and at the same time a little unfair when just a few countries have a stranglehold on the podium across various Sports. There are a lot of factors that go into such countries producing star athletes who perform, emerge victorious, make their respective countries proud and take a lot of pride in repeating the feat. It is a two way street - the backing that each of them can offer to their athletes in terms of infrastructure and financial support, and the talent and motivation each athlete possesses. 

In Rio 2016, rugby and golf will be reintroduced into the Olympics for the first time since the early 1900s. While it holds bright prospects for those countries that do well in those two sports, it also gives them a chance to interact with those that have been doing exceedingly well in more than one sport for decades.

Here are the top 10 countries that dominate various Sports.

10.  J for Japan, J for Judo

Masahiko Kimura – The Greatest Japanese Judoka

Japanese judokas dominated the recently held World Judo Masters. This was a qualifying event for Rio 2016 and was held in Rabat in Morocco.

Japan won a total of 12 medals including 3 Golds that were secured by the Japanese fighters Takanori Nagase, Naohisa Takato, and Miku Tashiro. The country secured  place in the overall medal tally closely followed by Russia and Mongolia.

Japan has always excelled in Judo at numerous editions of the Olympic Games. They have been very successful in the heavyweight and extra lightweight categories. The Japanese run of dominance started in the 1964 Tokyo Games and continued till 2000 Sydney Olympics, where they won 4 Gold Medals.

Although the team though did not manage gold at London 2012, their judokas won medals in other categories.


9. Jamaica Bolts to glory

Usain Bolt and the Jamaican Passion that makes him the fastest man on earth

Don Quarrie, Usain Bolt and Herb McKenley are all time sprinting greats, and all belong to Jamaica.

The reasons for these Jamaicans being Sprint Kings stem from factors that range from genetics to Jamaican culture. It has been found that sprinters usually have the single or double copy of the ACTN3 gene. Researchers have deduced that 98% of all Jamaicans have one or both copies of the gene that is recognized as being necessary to thrive at the highest level of Sprint events. Most Jamaicans start training very early in their childhood and have personal coaches as well. Jamaicans are very passionate about Sports and the weather provides the perfect conditions for training.

Usain Bolt is the most successful Jamaican sprinter.

I'm now a legend. I'm also the greatest athlete to live – Usain Bolt, after winning his seventh straight title in the 100 and 200 m, 9 August 2012.

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Published 10 Jun 2015, 13:53 IST
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