Sports data com­pany fore­casts 29 Olympic medals in 2018

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

An an­a­lyt­ics com­pany pre­dicts a big Win­ter Olympics for Nor­way, and says Canada will fin­ish fourth in to­tal medals won next year in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The U.S.-based sports and en­ter­tain­ment data com­pany Gra­cenote has Nor­way top­ping its vir­tual medal ta­ble with a whop­ping 40 medals, in­clud­ing 15 gold, which would both be Win­ter Games records. The cur­rent highs are Canada’s 14 gold and the 37 medals won by the United States in 2010 in Van­cou­ver and Whistler, B.C.

Canada is pro­jected to col­lect 29 medals — nine gold, nine sil­ver and 11 bronze — be­hind Ger­many with 34 and the U.S. at 32 in Pyeongchang. France is pegged to post its best per­for­mance, ty­ing the U.S. for gold with 10 and Rus­sia at 22 medals.

The 2018 Win­ter Olympics open Feb. 9 and close 16 days later.

With a year to go, The Cana­dian Press fore­casts 28 medals for the Cana­dian team (eight gold, 10 sil­ver, 10 bronze).

Those who run Cana­dian sport are wait­ing un­til af­ter world cham­pi­onships con­clude to de- clare the coun­try’s goal for Pyeongchang.

Fin­ish­ing first in to­tal medals won was the tar­get in both 2010 and 2014, when Canada won 26 medals for third and 25 for fourth, re­spec­tively.

Canada ranks third among coun­tries in gold medals (31) and to­tal medals (116) so far this win­ter sport World Cup sea­son be­hind Ger­many (64, 163) and the United States (45, 126).

The Cana­dian Olympic Com­mit­tee ex­pects to send a team of ap­prox­i­mately 240 ath­letes to Pyeongchang, which would be the largest for a Win­ter Games.

The great un­known in the equa­tion will be Rus­sia. The In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee has yet to say if Rus­sia will par­tic­i­pate in Pyeongchang, in the wake of a re­port that said the coun­try was be­hind an “in­sti­tu­tional con­spir­acy” that cor­rupted drug test­ing at the 2012 and 2014 Olympics.

World Anti-Dop­ing Agency in­ves­ti­ga­tor Richard McLaren has is­sued two re­ports that de­tail Rus­sian state in­volve­ment in a huge pro­gram of cheat­ing. That puts pres­sure on the IOC to act, though a blan­ket ban on Rus­sian ath­letes seems un­likely.

Lee Hee-beom, the head of the Pyeongchang or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee, has said he ex­pects Rus­sia to com­pete. But his spokesper­son ac­knowl­edged the de­ci­sion rests with the IOC. “As of now, we are pre­par­ing for the Games on the premise that the Rus­sians will be there,” spokesper­son Sung Baikyou said in an in­ter­view.

Data an­a­lyst Si­mon Gleave said he’s run­ning his in­for­ma­tion on the premise that Rus­sia will be there. He has Rus­sia fin­ish­ing sixth in the over­all to­tal with 22 medals. It is also sixth in the goldmedal ta­ble with six — tied with South Korea and the Nether­lands.

Rus­sia led the medals ta­ble in 2014 in Sochi with 33 over­all.

Gleave has con­structed a com­plex pro­gram to track per­for­mances lead­ing up to the Olympics. It gives more weight to larger events, and to the most re­cent. But the sys­tem isn’t per­fect.

At last year ’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Gra­cenote and Gleave pre­dicted just over 50 per cent of the medal win­ners cor­rectly — with­out re­gard to the colour of the medal. He said 80 per cent of the medal­lists in Rio came from his list of the top eight con­tenders in each event.

KERSTIN JOENSSON, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Canada’s Justin Kripps and Jesse Lums­den com­pete in the men’s two-man bob­sled in Aus­tria on Satur­day.

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