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chinadaily.com.cn 2021-08-10 16:32

Chinese players and staff pose for a group photograph with the national flag after the medal ceremony of the men's team event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan, August 6, 2021. [Photo/Getty Images]


>Tokyo Games gives 'gift of hope'

Held under the specter of a pandemic and threats of cancellation, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games wrapped up on Sunday as a success story that brought hope to the world.

International Olympic Chief Thomas Bach declared the Tokyo Games "unprecedented" and the "most challenging Olympic journey" as he addressed the near-empty 68,000-seat Olympic Stadium at the closing ceremony.

"In these difficult times we are all living through, you give the world the most precious of gifts: hope," Bach told athletes attending the ceremony.

Over the 16-day sports extravaganza in Tokyo, a total of 339 medal events were held across 33 sports with skateboarding, surfing, sport climbing and karate making their debuts.

A total of 94 different countries and regions claimed a medal at Tokyo, more than at any other Games.

The US topped the medal table with 39 golds, 41 silvers and 33 bronzes. Team China was in second with 38 gold, 32 silver and 18 bronze medals, followed by Japan with 27 gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze medals.


Firefighters drive a boat to rescue stranded residents in Quxian county, Dazhou city of Sichuan. [Photo/Chinanews.com]

>Torrential rains affect Sichuan residents

Torrential rains have affected more than 100,000 residents in Southwest China's Sichuan province and forced the emergency evacuation of over 7,000 people, local authorities said Sunday.

The heavy downpours lashed the northeastern part of Sichuan, including the cities of Bazhong, Nanchong and Dazhou, from 8 am Saturday to 8 am Sunday, flooding roads and raising the water levels of several local rivers above warning levels, according to the Sichuan provincial water resources department.

A monitoring station in Yingshan county under Nanchong saw precipitation of 424.8 mm in the 24-hour period, the department said.

Disaster relief and rescue efforts are underway.


The roaming elephants rest in Eshan county, Yunnan. [Photo provided to China Daily]

>Elephant herd approaches traditional habitat

The herd of 14 wild Asian elephants roaming in southwest China's Yunnan province is approaching their traditional habitat. At about 8 pm Sunday, the herd crossed the Yuanjiang River with artificial guidance, according to the headquarters in charge of monitoring their migration.

More efforts will be made to ensure the security of the herd on their way back, according to the headquarters.

It has been around 17 months since the herd bid farewell to their original habitat in a nature reserve in Yunnan's Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture.

Wild Asian elephants, a flagship species in the rainforest, are under A-level state protection in China.

Thanks to stronger environmental and wildlife protection efforts, its population in the country has grown to about 300, mostly scattered in the province of Yunnan.



>COVID variant constellation names considered

New coronavirus strains could be named after constellations once the Greek alphabet is used up, a World Health Organization boss has suggested.

The agency started naming new mutations after letters of the Greek alphabet back in May.

So far, 11 variants have been named - including the Delta, Beta and Alpha strains.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's COVID-19 technical lead, said the WHO is looking at new names in case they go through all 24 letters of the Greek alphabet.

At the moment, constellations are being considered.

The WHO is looking at proposals to make sure no one is upset with the names, she added.


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