Eliud Kipchoge was named best male athlete of Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Olympic legends Eliud Kipchoge and Mijaín López were among the winners at the seventh edition of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Awards here today as stars of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were honoured.

Kipchoge was crowned the best male athlete of the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after the Kenyan retained his Olympic marathon title in Sapporo.

He repeated his Rio 2016 triumph on the final day of the Games by clocking 2 hours, 8min and 38sec, becoming just the third man to successfully defend the men’s marathon title.

Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila, the Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964 champion, and East German Waldemar Cierpinski, who won at Montreal 1976 and Moscow 1980 were the only other two to achieve the feat.

Kipchoge's margin of victory of 80 seconds was the biggest in an Olympic marathon since Frank Shorter's win at Munich 1972.

The best female athlete of Tokyo 2020 was presented to Canada’s Margaret MacNeil, one of the swimming stars of the Games.

MacNeil won three medals at the Games, including a memorable victory in the women’s 100 metres butterfly event where she came from seventh place at the halfway mark to eventually clinch gold.

López was recognised for his distinguished Olympic career by receiving the Outstanding Athlete Performance prize.

Canada’s Margaret MacNeil received the best female athlete of Tokyo 2020 honour ©Getty Images
Canada’s Margaret MacNeil received the best female athlete of Tokyo 2020 honour ©Getty Images

The Cuban wrestler claimed his fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020, triumphing in the men's 130 kilograms Greco-Roman event.

López is one of a select group to win gold medals at four straight Games, with the 38-year-old having matched Japanese wrestling great Kaori Icho in the sport.

The ceremony was opened with an award presented to Estonia’s women’s fencing team epee squad, who were named winners of the Best Female Multiple Athlete Event of Tokyo 2020.

Their squad of Julia Beljajeva, Irina Embrich, Erika Kirpu and Katrina Lehis overcame South Korea in the gold medal match at the Games, winning their nation’s first gold medal at the Olympics since Beijing 2008.

Italy’s Simone Consonni, Filippo Ganna, Francesco Lamon and Jonathan Milan won the men’s award, following team pursuit success at the Izu Velodrome.

The Italian team triumphed in the event for the first time since Rome 1960, after producing a world record time in the final to beat Denmark.

The quartet became world champions earlier this week.

New Zealand's rugby sevens team accepted the women’s team of Tokyo 2020 award virtually, after being unable to travel due to COVID-19 restrictions.

New Zealand retained their Olympic title at the Games, beating France 26-12 in the final.

Japan’s men’s baseball team secured the men’s award, after winning all their matches at their home Olympics, including victory over the United States in the final.

Star athletes from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were honoured in Crete ©ANOC
Star athletes from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were honoured in Crete ©ANOC

Their efforts contributed to Japan finishing third on the medal table at the Games, winning 27 gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze medals.

This led to Japan being awarded the Outstanding National Olympic Committee (NOCs) of Tokyo 2020 prize, with their gold medal haul exceeding their previous record of 16 from Athens 2004.

Six NOCs received breakthrough awards, recognising either winning their first Olympic gold or medal of any colour at Tokyo 2020.

Bermuda, the Philippines and Qatar celebrated their maiden Olympic gold medals in the Japanese capital city.

Burkina Faso, San Marino, and Turkmenistan secured their first ever medals at an Olympic Games.

Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to the Olympic Movement honour.

The IOC vice-president served as chair of the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission.

The ceremony concluded with a special award from the Hellenic Olympic Committee for the best Greek athlete of Tokyo 2020.

Long jump Olympic champion Miltiadis Tentoglou received the prize after winning gold with a distance of 8.41 metres.

Tentoglou produced the jump in the sixth and final round of the competition.