Team GB on course for record medal haul
Academics predict 56 Olympic medals for Great Britain at London 2012
Team GB is on course to win 56 medals at London 2012 – nine more than four years ago – according to the statisticians who most accurately forecast the final Olympics medal table for the Beijing Games in 2008.
Using a new statistical model, a team led by David Forrest, Professor of Economics at Salford Business School, has drawn up a medal table forecast for more than 140 countries taking part in this year’s Olympic Games.
The group of academics estimates that Great Britain will again finish fourth in the final medals count, although they suggest that the home nation will significantly close the gap on third-placed Russia. In Beijing, Team GB won 47 medals compared to Russia’s 73, but this time round the research points to the Russians collecting only 62, hinting at the possibility that the British team could just achieve third place.
The United States head the forecasted table with 112 medals, two more than 2008, with China’s 104 medals, an improvement of four on their home Olympics, securing second.
“GDP per head of population and population size remain the most obvious guide to Olympic medal performance,” Professor Forrest explained, “but there are other variables which can significantly affect a country’s medal-winning potential.
“These include previous Olympic team medal achievement, the over-performance of communist and former communist countries compared to what would be expected given their resources, and the ‘host effect’, with the home national team expected to win more medals than usual.
“Before Beijing we also identified that countries who are due to host the next Olympics tend to win more medals at the Games immediately before their own. Great Britain, for example, went from 30 medals at Athens to 47 at Beijing, suggesting that investment in Olympic sports well ahead of hosting a Games has a marked impact in a relatively short space of time.”
The forecasted top 10 countries’ medals table for London 2012 is:
||Predicted London 2012 medal total
||Beijing 2008 medal total