Tokyo Olympics in review: Top 10 plays

Posted at 5:46 AM, Aug 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-08 07:45:56-04

#10 - Nick Batum Blocks Slovenia from Gold Medal Game

With time winding down in a men's basketball semifinal, Luka Doncic and Slovenia found themselves down 89-90 to France with a chance to take the lead. Doncic passed up the shot, instead springing Zoran Dragic on a drive to the basket. But what looked for a moment like an open game-winning layup became a Nick Batum medal-clinching block in the blink of an eye.

SEE MORE: Nicolas Batum's clutch block sends France to gold medal game

#9 - Imam Khateav K.O.'s Spain in one punch

In a quarterfinal bout of the men's light heavyweight division, ROC boxer Imam Khateav dropped his opponent, Gazimagomed Jalidov of Spain, with a single straight right hand. No need to go to the judges for this one.

SEE MORE: Khataev knocks out Jalidov in quarterfinals

#8 - Moroccan golfer drains it in one

Morocco's Maha Haddioui stepped up to the tee at 176-yard Par 3 seventh hole already out of likely medal contention. That didn't stop her from unleashing the shot of the tournament. Three bounces, a few feet of roll, center cup.

SEE MORE: Hole in one! Maha Haddioui gets an Olympic ace

#7 - Janie Reed pulls one out of the sky

With Japan already up 2-0 in the seventh inning of the softball gold medal game, the United States couldn't afford to go down any further. They would have, if not for a massive leap at the wall by left fielder Janie Reed, robbing Fujita Yamato of a sure-fire home run.

SEE MORE: Janie Reed makes spectacular home run-robbing catch in final

#6 - Worthington lands 360 backflip

British BMX freestyle rider Charlotte Worthington knew she would need to land something huge to win Olympic gold. It doesn't get much bigger than the 360 backflip, which no woman had successfully hit in competition until Worthington laid it down in Tokyo. Her run begins at 4:00 in the highlight below. Oh, the full front flip is pretty sweet, too.

SEE MORE: Charlotte Worthington steals show in BMX freestyle final

#5 - Italo Ferreira gets airborne

Nobody could match Italo Ferreira in the Tokyo surf as the Brazilian took home the sport's first Olympic gold medal. In the quarterfinals, he measured up a wave and took himself — and his board — high into the misty sky, landing a massive 360 aerial to score a near-perfect 9.73 points.

SEE MORE: Italo Ferreira's huge Olympic wave

#4 - Megan Rapinoe scores Olympic "Olimpico"

She did it in London. She did it again in Tokyo. In the bronze medal match against Canada, Megan Rapinoe went for goal direct from the corner kick... and scored. Give Carli Lloyd some credit for the goalie distraction, but Pinoe still had all the work to do from the corner flag.

SEE MORE: Megan Rapinoe scores Olympic 'Olimpico' on corner kick

#3 - Italy saves wild beach volleyball point

Did you know beach volleyball players can go under the net to save points? Paolo Nicolai did. After partner Daniele Lupo dug a vicious Poland spike, Nicolai ranged far and wide to keep the point alive. That in itself was impressive enough, but Nicolai went one better. He made it count with the point-sealing block.

SEE MORE: Italy shows crazy hustle to recover, wins out of bounds play

#2 - Hassan hits the deck, then wins

With just under one lap to go in her women's 1500m heat, the Netherlands' Sifan Hassan got caught up in a high-speed spill. But rather than accept her bad luck and kiss the dream of a historic 1500/5000/10000 triple goodbye, she got up and took off. Hassan passed 11 runners within 300 meters to not only advance, but win the heat outright. 

SEE MORE: Sifan Hassan roars back to win 1500m prelim after trip, fall

#1 - Quan Hongchan finds perfection twice

No single display at the Tokyo Games embodied flawless execution more than China's Quan Hongchan on the tower. The 14-year-old (not a typo) diving phenom set an Olympic record with five stunning dives in the Olympic final. Two of those dives earned 10s from all seven judges. Unheard of in the notoriously nitpicky sport. Her final dive might have been the best of them all, despite one sourpuss judge downgrading it to a paltry 9.5.

SEE MORE: 14-year-old Quan Hongchan delivers perfection on platform