Team GB could win just 11 gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, according to an ominous study looking ahead to the summer Games in 2021.
Statisticians Gracenote have forecast the entire Games and released their Virtual Medal Table with 100 days to go, with Britain facing a serious reality check after finishing second overall at Rio 2016.
The study claims Britain will finish seventh in the table in Japan, collecting just 36 medals – just over half of the total won five years ago in Brazil (67).
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There are some positives. Laura Muir is tipped to strike gold over 1500m, while familiar names Adam Peaty (100m breaststroke), Katarina Johnson-Thompson (heptathlon), Jade Jones (taekwondo) and Max Whitlock (pommel horse) are all backed to win.
Dina Asher-Smith is tipped to win silver in the 200m and 4x100m relay – narrowly missing out in the 100m – while divers Tom Daley and Jack Laugher are expected to win two bronze medals apiece.
United States (43 gold), China (38), Japan (34), Russian Olympic Committee (23), Netherlands (16) and Australia (12) are predicted to finish ahead of Team GB this summer. Although Gracenote have GB down to finish eighth in the above table, they would finish above France in the actual rankings due to their superior tally of (predicted) gold medals.
If the forecast proves true, it would end a brilliant run for Britain at the Olympics. They finished fourth overall at Beijing 2008, third on home soil at London 2012 and second at Rio 2016.
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Who is predicted to win medals for Team GB?
Gold - 11
- Max Whitlock - Artistic Gymnastics, Pommel Horse
- Laura Muir - Athletics, 1500m
- Katarina Johnson-Thompson - Athletics, Heptathlon
- Lauren Price - Boxing, Middleweight
- Liam Heath - Canoe Sprint, K1 200m
- Ros Canter (Allstar B) - Equestrian, Eventing Individual
- Ben Maher (Explosion W) - Equestrian, Jumping Individual
- Kate French - Modern Pentathlon, Individual
- Seonaid McIntosh - Shooting, 50m Rifle 3 Positions
- Adam Peaty - Swimming, 100m Breaststroke
- Jade Jones - Taekwondo, Featherweight 49-57kg
Silver - 12
- Dina Asher-Smith - Athletics, 200m
- Great Britain - Athletics, 4x100m Relay (men)
- Great Britain - Athletics, 4x100m Relay (women)
- Pat McCormack - Boxing, Welterweight
- Collett (London 52) - Equestrian, Eventing Individual
- Great Britain - Equestrian, Eventing Team
- Great Britain - Rowing, Eight (men)
- Hannah Mills/Eilidh McIntyre - Sailing, 470
- Bradly Sinden - Taekwondo, Featherweight 58-68kg
- Bianca Walkden - Taekwondo, Heavyweight +67kg
- Great Britain - Track Cycling, Team Pursuit (women)
- Great Britain - Track Cycling, Team Sprint (men)
Bronze - 13
- Peter McGrail - Boxing, Featherweight
- Ben Whittaker - Boxing, Light Heavyweight
- Tom Daley - Diving, 10m Platform
- Tom Daley/Matty Lee - Diving, 10m Platform Synchro
- Jack Laugher - Diving, 3m Springboard
- Jack Laugher/Dan Goodfellow - Diving, 3m Springboard Synchro
- Joseph Choong - Modern Pentathlon, Individual
- Great Britain - Rowing, Four (men)
- Matthew Coward-Holley - Shooting, Trap
- John Gimson/Anna Burnet - Sailing, Nacra 17
- Great Britain - Swimming, 4 x 100m Medley Relay
- Ben Proud - Swimming, 50m Freestyle
- Georgia Taylor-Brown - Triathlon
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Who could sneak onto the podium?
Gracenote also revealed to Eurosport the athletes they expected to come within a whisker of the podium. Asher-Smith (100m) headlines the unlucky group - although she will probably be more miffed at being tipped for silver in the 200m - while Jake Wightman (1500m), Joseph Clarke (K1 Canoe Slalom), Stuart Bithell/Dylan Fletcher (Sailing 49er), and the men's team pursuit quartet are all set for agonising heartbreak.
The Gracenote study highlighted that it was likely to be "the most unpredictable Games ever" and admitted their projection "contains more uncertainty" due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Who looks set to miss out?
Notably, GB are not predicted to win an individual medal in any cycling discipline.
Golden couple Laura and Jason Kenny are among the distinguished absentees, despite winning five titles (three individual) between them in Rio, although both can expect to be in the teams tipped for medals in the velodrome.
There’s also no mention of Mo Farah, who famously completed the ‘double-double’ over 5,000m and 10,000m in London and Rio. The 36-year-old has already signalled his intentions to ditch his road racing to pursue a fifth gold over the longer distance on the track in Tokyo.
Double Olympic champion Andy Murray is also absent, although much more expectedly given his recent injury woes. He should be assured of a place in Tokyo regardless of his ranking, with one place reserved for a former winner in the singles draw.
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