(ATR) An initial medals table projection for Beijing 2022 paints a rosy picture for Norway and Russian athletes competing without their flag.
Team Norway celebrating 1-2 finish in men's downhill at PyeongChang. (ATR)
Gracenote, a Nielsen company, released its initial Beijing 2022 Virtual Medal Table forecast on Thursday, one year ahead of the Opening Ceremony for the 24th Winter Games.
Gracenote’s statistical model, based on the most up-to-date individual and team results from key competitions since PyeongChang 2018, also shows that China will not receive the traditional boost that hosting the Games usually provides.
Norway is expected to top the medal table for a second straight time and to do so in record fashion. The 41 medals currently projected in Beijing would surpass the Olympic record 39 set in PyeongChang.
The Olympic Athletes from Russia team did not fare that well in 2018 but are forecast to rebound in a big way.
The Olympic Athletes from Russia team at PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony (ATR)
Assuming that all of the Russian athletes currently in top three positions in their sports fulfill the requirements to compete in Beijing, Gracenote predicts the Olympic Athletes from Russia team will take home 34 medals. That would double the total from PyeongChang and would be more than any Russian or Soviet team has ever won at a Winter Games.
Germany is predicted to finish third in the medals table with 31, the same number as in Korea.
The United States is expected to be fourth with 24 medals, one more than in 2018.
The Netherlands is set to round out the top five with 21 medals, also one more than three years ago.
Canada, Switzerland, Austria, France and Sweden round out the top 10.
Gracenote uses total medals, rather than gold medals, to determine the table.
The data suggests that China will not improve on their medal tally from PyeongChang. The host country is predicted to win eight medals and finish 14th in the table. China won nine medals in 2018.
Beijing medals plaza (Beijing 2022)
Should that projection stand up, it would be only the second time since 1988 that a host country for the Winter Olympics failed to improve their medal counts from the previous Games. Only Italy at Torino 2006 failed in this regard.
Gracenote's projections have been somewhat affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced postponements or cancellations of events in some sports that would be used as data points.
“The pandemic has introduced more uncertainty into our forecasts as there is less data than usual but we think the forecasts are still a good measure of where the teams and athletes are at this stage,” Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis for Nielsen’s Gracenote, tells Around the Rings.
“The initial pandemic only started after the 2019/20 winter sports seasons had finished so we had a more or less complete dataset this time last year. This year's winter sports World Cup seasons have included plenty of events so far so there is a great deal of data being added. There are however some events which have less data than usual.
“As we get closer to the Games, we would expect our forecasts to become more accurate as they will contain the most relevant information when the Games begin. We always provide a final forecast two or three days before the Games begin.”
The initial Virtual Medal Table, along with the projections for the winners of the seven events making their debuts in Beijing, can be found here
Written by Gerard Farek
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