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  • Record Medal Haul Predicted for Japan at Tokyo 2020


    (ATR) The United States is expected to win the most medals overall for a seventh straight Summer Games at Tokyo 2020 while Japan will ride host status to a more than 50 percent increase in its medal tally from Rio 2016.

    Those are two of the predictions from Gracenote, which released its latest Virtual Medal Table on Friday, six months from the start of Tokyo 2020.

    The Gracenote 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.

    The latest calculations have China making a big improvement from four years ago in Brazil, when the country won only 70 medals, its poorest showing since 2004. The Virtual Medal Table expects China to finish second behind the USA with a total of 87 medals. The United States is projected to win 117.

    Japan set a record with 41 medals at Rio 2016 and is expected to easily surpass that this time around with 65 medals.

    Russia is likely to be banned from Tokyo 2020, and how many of the 66 expected medalists for the country will be allowed to compete under the Olympic Athletes from Russia banner (or something similar) could mean other countries will receive a medals boost.

    Australia and Great Britain are expected to battle it out for the fifth position on the medals table. The Aussies have not finished ahead of the British since 2004 mainly due to subpar performances in swimming. But Great Britain is forecast to suffer a steep drop in medals from 67 in Rio to only 42 in Tokyo due to lower expectations in track cycling, artistic gymnastics and rowing. Those three sports accounted for nearly a third of British medals in 2016.

    The Netherlands, which is expected to win a record 41 medals, is projected to finish seventh on the overall medals table.

    France, Germany and Italy are expected to round out the top 10.

    The expected success from the USA and Japan is driven in part by how well they are expected to do in the five sports that are either new or returning for Tokyo 2020.

    Karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing are all new sports on the Olympic program in 2020. Baseball/softball returns to the Summer Games after being absent since Beijing 2008.

    There are also new and returning events in another 15 sports. Overall, there will be 44 new or returning events at Tokyo 2020 and 143 medals available in them. According to Gracenote’s projections, the United States will top the medal table for new and returning events with 20, followed by Japan (15), and Australia (eight). Forty-five different NOCs are expected to win medals in these events.

    Italian Olympics expert Luciano Barra has been predicting medal counts for years, basing his results on world championship results from the year before the Games.

    In terms of total medals, Barra and Gracenote are in agreement for the top 10, with the exception of the Netherlands. Barra has the Dutch eighth rather than seventh.

    Using gold medals to rank the countries, Barra's top 10 has the USA in first, followed by China, Russia, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany, France and New Zealand.

    Gracenote’s ranking by gold medals: USA, China, Japan, Russia, Australia, the Netherlands, Great Britain, New Zealand, Germany and South Korea.

    Homepage photo: Tokyo 2020

    Written by Gerard Farek

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