'Super Mario' talks up Tokyo 2020

BLAZING A TRAIL: Fireworks light up the Maracana Stadium during the closing ceremony of the Rio Games, which has had its fair allotment of off-field stumbles and gripping drama in the sporting arenas.
'Super Mario' talks up Tokyo 2020

PASSING THE BATON: International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach passes the Olympic flag to Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike. The world's athletes will now take a breather but will soon plot how to make it to the 2020 Games. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
'Super Mario' talks up Tokyo 2020

GAME ON: Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan which will host the next Olympics, popped out of a green pipe dressed as Super Mario.
'Super Mario' talks up Tokyo 2020

FINAL FLOURISH: Rio went out with pomp as artists performed during the closing ceremony in a riot of colour. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY


    Aug 23, 2016

    'Super Mario' talks up Tokyo 2020

    THE Rio Olympics ended in a blaze of colour with an exuberant closing ceremony on Sunday as Tokyo took up the baton promising to host the best Games yet in 2020.

    After a rollercoaster fortnight which mixed off-field hitches with compelling sporting drama, Olympics chief Thomas Bach hailed a "marvellous" Games

    in the Brazilian city.

    At the closing ceremony, thousands of fans and athletes donned ponchos on a wet and windy night for a colourful festival of Brazilian culture

    and music with bursts of spectacular fireworks.

    Smiling and waving athletes danced into the Maracana stadium taking selfies as

    Rio's 16-day Summer Games closed ahead of the

    2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

    Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a comical cameo as Nintendo video game character Super Mario as Tokyo set out its store for 2020.

    "The Japanese government will... work hard so it will be

    the best Olympics ever,"

    he said as he met Japanese medal winners earlier.

    Security scares and logistical problems were a feature of South America's first Olympics, held against the backdrop of Brazil's political and economic crisis.

    Swathes of empty seats caused disquiet but the Games also witnessed the last hurrahs of both Usain Bolt and

    Michael Phelps, who both

    lived up to their billing.

    Brazil came late to the party but the country celebrated long and loud when Neymar won a gold-medal penalty shoot-out against Germany to erase memories of their 7-1

    World Cup semi-final humiliation in 2014.

    Brazil added a final flourish as they beat Italy 3-0 to win

    the men's title in volleyball,

    one of the country's

    most popular sports.

    French fighter Tony Yoka won a split-decision against Britain's Joe Joyce to take

    the super-heavyweight title

    in boxing.

    Switzerland's world champion Nino Schurter, third in Beijing and second in London, competed his ascent of the podium by winning the men's mountain bike competition.

    And there were furious scenes when a Mongolian coach stripped down to his underwear to protest a decision against wrestler Ganzorig Mandakhnaran.