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  • Gracenote Offers First Look at Virtual Medal Table Forecast for Tokyo 2020


    Data shows United States again topping the Summer Olympics medal projections,
    Japan and Russia challenging China for second place

    EMERYVILLE, Calif., May 6, 2019 – Gracenote®, a Nielsen company (NYSE: NLSN), today released its very first data-driven Virtual Medal Table (VMT) forecast for the 2020 Summer Games which officially begin on Friday, July 24, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Considering the most up-to-date athlete results from key competitions since the last Summer Games, Gracenote projects the full medal table with just under 450 days of competition to go before the Games of the XXXII Olympiad begin next year.


    The United States is expected to win the most medals at Tokyo 2020. This would mark the seventh successive Summer Games in which the US team has come out on top of the medal count competition.

    Japan is expected to improve its medal total by 54% on Rio 2016 making the host nation a genuine challenger to China for second place.

    China fell to 70 medals in 2016 and is expected to bounce back slightly in Tokyo, exposing vulnerability to fast-rising host nation Japan and Russia.

    Russia is set for an increase in medals compared to its total of 55 at Rio 2016. Still, the Russian team is in a battle to rise from fourth in the medal table.

    Great Britain's medal total is expected to drop significantly from 2016 and the British will battle for a top five spot rather than top three as in the last two Olympics.

    Australia should improve on 2016 to challenge the British for a top-five place.

    France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands currently round out the Virtual Medal Table top-10 medal winners. The Netherlands would therefore replace Canada in the top-10 medal winners from 2016.

    Korea Republic is also improving enough to challenge for a top-10 spot in the 2020 medal table.


    United States (2020 projection: 123 medals, 2016: 121 medals)
    The United States of America is expected to once again top the Summer Games medal table in Tokyo next year. The current Gracenote Virtual Medal Table projection of 123 medals is two up on the total claimed by American competitors in 2016. The US medals are forecast to come from 28 different sports which would be an Olympic record.

    Japan (2020: 63 medals, 2016: 41 medals)

    Tokyo 2020 host nation Japan won 41 medals at the Rio Olympics in 2016 but Gracenote currently projects Japan to improve on that total by 54%. The expected gains should come from a combination of more medals in all of Japan's strongest sports and new and returning sports generally providing success for the hosts.

    China (2020: 76 medals, 2016: 70 medals)
    China's total of 70 medals in 2016 was the country's lowest return since 2004 and the current Gracenote Virtual Medal Table expects only a slight improvement on this in 2020. China just beat Great Britain into second place in Rio by winning three medals more. This time, host nation Japan and Russia are likely to be the main challengers to China for second place. The Chinese team is forecast to win medals in only 18 different sports, its lowest number since 1996.

    Russia (2020: 66 medals, 2016: 56 medals)
    Russian medal performance is expected to improve on Rio 2016 with 66 medals currently projected for the country by Gracenote. At the last Summer Games, the Russian team won 56 medals. It should be noted that the Russian athletics team is still banned from competition so this total could improve further.

    Great Britain (2020: 46 medals, 2016: 67 medals)

    In 2016, Great Britain became the first team to win more medals in the Olympics four years after hosting than they won at home. The Gracenote Virtual Medal Table projects a drop of 21 medals in Tokyo next year from that 2016 total of 67. The British team is therefore likely to drop out of the top-four medal winning countries. The reduction in medals for Britain is due to lower medal expectations in cycling - track, gymnastics - artistic and rowing amongst others. In 2016, those three sports accounted for nearly a third of British medals (22). In 2020 however, they are currently forecast to produce just eight podium places.

    Australia (2020: 44 medals, 2016: 29 medals)
    With the British medal total likely to fall, it is possible that Australia and Great Britain will be in a genuine battle for a top-five spot. Great Britain has been well clear of Australia at each of the last two Summer Games and the Australians have not finished ahead of the British team since 2004. Australia's drop in performance at the last two Summer Olympics was mainly due to underperformance in swimming. If Australia is to challenge for a top-five spot, swimming success needs to rise up to the levels achieved from 2000 to 2008.

    France (2020: 41 medals, 2016: 42 medals)

    Like Germany, France is projected by Gracenote to produce a similar medal winning performance to 2016 at next year's Summer Games. If France again wins 40 or more medals, it would be the fifth time that the French team has broken the 40-medal barrier. Three of those achievements came between 2008 and 2016.

    Germany (2020: 40 medals, 2016: 42 medals)

    A similar performance to the last three Summer Games is expected from Germany according to the Gracenote Virtual Medal Table. The German team finished in the top three in the first two Summer Games after reunification in 1990. It has since been overtaken by China (since 2000), Australia (2000 to 2008) and Great Britain (2008 - 2016). With the exception of 2008, Germany has tended to hang onto a top-five place in the medal table but Japan's improvement will put that under threat next year.

    Italy (2020: 34 medals, 2016: 28 medals)

    Italy is projected to improve on its 2016 medal performance next year. Italy's potential
    medals in 2020 come mainly from fencing and swimming according to the Gracenote Virtual Medal Table. The new Olympic sport of karate also helps Italy as there are currently three Italians named as virtual medallists in that discipline next year.

    Netherlands (2020: 32 medals, 2016: 19 medals)

    The best ever Dutch medal winning performance at a Summer Olympics was at Sydney 2000 (25 medals). The current projection is for the Netherlands to beat this record at Tokyo 2020 with more medals forecast in cycling - track, cycling - road and sailing than ever before. Unlike 2000 when the record medal count was dependent on multiple medals from a small number of Dutch stars, Gracenote's projection for 2020 suggests medals will be spread over a large number of competitors.

    About Gracenote Virtual Medal Table

    Gracenote’s Virtual Medal Table is a statistical model based on individual and team results in previous Olympics Games, World Championships and World Cups to forecast the most likely gold, silver and bronze medal winners by country. This information is presented in simple to understand predictions and seamless data feeds that enable broadcasters, media publishers and pay TV operators to deliver unique Olympic-focused stories across Web, mobile and broadcast properties.

    About Gracenote Sports
    Today, Gracenote Sports offers rich data on 4,500 of the world’s most popular leagues and competitions as well as a deep trove of historical Olympics information going back to the very first modern games in 1896. For a closer look at the full Virtual Medal Table, its features and methodology, please visit: For more information on Gracenote Sports, visit:

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