Rio Olympics 2016: Team GB beat China to finish second in medal table

Great Britain have finished second in the medal table at the 2016 Olympics – above sporting powerhouse China.

One of the event’s dominant nations, China have won more than 200 golds since returning to the Games in 1984.

Britain ended the Rio Games with 27 golds from 15 sports, one ahead of China.

Super-heavyweight boxer Joe Joyce won GB’s final medal, a silver, as they finished with a total of 67 from 19 sports, beating the 65 at London 2012.

Rio 2016 medal table top three
Full medal table
Gold Silver Bronze Total
USA 45 37 38 120
Great Britain 27 23 17 67
China 26 18 26 70

Since the modern Olympic era began in 1896, no country has increased its medal tally at the summer Games immediately following one it hosted.

GB have also smashed their pre-Games target of at least 48 medals, which was set by UK Sport.

That means Rio 2016 is the nation’s most successful ‘away’ Games in history.

China, with a population of 1.357bn to Britain’s 64.1m, have amassed more medals (70) than Team GB in Brazil, achieving notable success in table tennis, diving and weightlifting.

However, GB are ahead on golds, which is what the rankings are based on.

Asked if the achievements in Rio were better than London 2012, Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, told BBC Sport: “Absolutely.

“It is more of a thrill because although we knew we had medal potential, we were not as sure about the environment in which we were competing.

“Those of us involved know that there is still a huge amount that can be improved. As we look beyond Rio and on to Tokyo, it is looking really exciting.”

UK Sport performance director Simon Timpson insisted the success was “not happening by chance”, adding: “This is success by design.”

Britain effectively clinched second spot when kayaker Liam Heath, boxer Nicola Adams and runner Mo Farah won their events on Saturday.

Diver Tom Daley was another medal prospect but failed to make the final in the 10m platform diving, which was won by China’s Chen Aisen.

Gracenote Sports creates a Virtual Medal Table