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Monday, August 22, 2016, 16:51

Rio provided 10 teams a first feel of Olympic gold

By Agencies

RIO DE JANEIRO - For some nations, winning Olympic gold is quite the regular occurrence. At the Rio de Janeiro Games, plenty of first-timers got to hear their anthems played in celebration as well.

Going into Sunday's final day of competition in Rio, 10 teams — including the independent team of Olympians — were assured of leaving these games with their first gold medals.

That's the most first-timers since 16 nations got their inaugural feel of Olympic gold at the Atlanta Games in 1996.

And those were hardly the only medal milestones at these games. The United States became the first team to win 1,000 gold medals in summer games competition, and a record 87 teams got at least one medal in Rio.

A look at the 10 first-time Olympic champions:

FIJI

Fijians called a halt to work and schools closed to celebrate the country's first-ever Olympic medal- gold for the men's rugby sevens team, who beat Great Britain 43 points to seven in Rio.

The win was rare good news for this impoverished South Pacific nation of 900,000, which is less than the population of one district of Beijing.

The country has participated in 14 Summer Olympics and 3 Winter Olympics previously without winning any metals.

Rugby is very popular in Fiji and is regarded as the "national ball," and it finally made a history this summer.

Rio provided 10 teams a first feel of Olympic gold
Fiji team with their gold medals during the medal ceremony for the Men's Rugby Sevens at Deodoro Stadium on Aug 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ( Photo / VCG via chinadaily.com.cn)

INDEPENDENT

Kuwait's Fehaid Aldeehani, competing as an independent, captured men's double trap gold by defeating Italy's Marco Innocenti in the final match.

With Kuwait suspended by the IOC, Aldeehani and seven other athletes were allowed to compete as independents in Rio.

"The interests and future of Kuwait come first. This victory confirms that we deserve better," he said.

Although Aldeehani was not entitled to have the Kuwait national anthem played when he took to the podium, his victory led to a wave of euphoria in the Gulf state.

Rio provided 10 teams a first feel of Olympic gold
Fehaid Aldeehani of Independent Olympic Athlete poses with his gold medal on Aug 10, 2016 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo / Agencies)

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