Watching, Guy? Verhofstadt mocked as GB’s gold tally doubles Germany AND France
Tokyo 2020: Tom Daley and Matty Lee win gold
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The former Belgium MEP and current MEP, an arch-critic of Brexit, caused a stir earlier this week with his bizarre suggestion that the European Union was “winning” the Tokyo Olympics – as well as suggesting in future, EU members should compete with an EU flag on their outfits. As evidence, Mr Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit representative, pointed to the fact that as of August 5, the total number of gold medals won by members of the EU27 exceeded the combined sum of medals won by China and the United States.
However, as of today, Great Britain’s total stands at 20 golds, fourth behind China (38), the USA (34) and hosts Japan (26).
The EU’s two most powerful nations Germany and France lag behind, with the former, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, in 7th place, with ten golds, and France, led by Emmanuel Macron, in 10th, with seven medals.
As for Mr Verhofstadt’s very own Belgium, they currently have three Olympic golds, and are 28th in the medal table.
And In a development which some might conclude suggest is Brexit-related, given the trade deal signed between London and Canberra earlier this year, Australia’s current gold medal total of 17 is equal to that of Germany and France added together.
Australia’s population – 25 million – is roughly one-sixth of that of France plus Germany.
David Jones, Tory MP for Clwyd West and the deputy chairman of the European Research Group (ERG), suggested Mr Verhofstadt might be secretly pleased.
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He told Express.co.uk: “I’m sure Mr Verhofstadt, as a well-known Anglophile (he drives an Aston Martin), will be the first to give generous credit to Team GB on their outstanding success.
“He may also acknowledge that international sporting success to a large extent reflects a strong national identity, for which the dry-as-dust mega-bureaucracy of the European Union could never be a substitute.”
Gala Yafai became the latest GB competitor to win gold today, beating Carlo Paalam of the Philippines to win the Olympic flyweight boxing champion.
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Meanwhile the Germany team is reeling after modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner was sent home for punching a horse which had refused to jump a fence during the showjumping round.
In a development which comes on the back of a trade deal signed between London and Canberra earlier this year, Australia’s current gold medal total – 17 – is equal to that of Germany and France added together.
Speaking about Mr Verhofstadt’s original comments, especially his point about the flags, Adrian Hill, a former UK diplomat and staunch critic of the European Union, told Express.co.uk: “I’m sure the German, French, Italian IOC Members along with all the others from EU countries were highly embarrassed.
“Even if their politicians are ignorant, most people interested in the Games know that the IOC – International Olympic Committee – is formed from members representing their countries.
“It’s the democratic way of doing things.”
Express.co.uk has approached Mr Verhofstadt for comment.
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