Argentina "did great job" at Rio Olympics, says sports official

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Argentina's 213-strong delegation to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games "did a great job", garnering four medals, three of them gold, the country's top sports official said.

Sports Secretary and former football player Carlos Mac Allister, 48, said the volleyball, handball and basketball teams also did well, despite failing to win medals.

The last time Argentina won three gold medals was at the 1948 London Games.

In Rio, Argentina's gold medalists included Paula Pareto in judo, Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza in sailing, and the men's field hockey team.

Tennis player Juan Martin del Potro won a silver medal after defeating Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to second place, but falling to Andy Murray.

The 2020 Tokyo Games will be "a great opportunity" for Argentina, said Mac Allister, as the country is already "investing in 15- and 16-year-old athletes for the 2018 Youth Games in Buenos Aires."

The big disappointment was Argentina's football team, which failed to make it past the first round after arriving in Rio with a coach appointed at the last minute.

"It was a serious mistake on the part of the AFA (Argentine Football Association) to not care about Olympic football," said Mac Allister, especially since the team won gold at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games.

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri agreed with Allister, saying the country's performance was "a success".

The head of Argentina's Olympic Committee (COA), Gerardo Werthein, promised the end of the 2016 Rio Games will mark the beginning of a new era in national sports. Endit

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