Italian: US will top China in Beijing medal count
BEIJING: In his final projection before next year’s Beijing Olympics, Italian Olympic official Luciano Barra has altered his forecast to say the United States will stay ahead of China in both gold medals and overall medals won.
In his projection sent out this week, Barra has the United States winning 98 medals overall – and 47 golds.
He picks China to win 89 – 38 golds. Russia are No. 3 with 88 medals and 32 golds.
The prediction is based on medals won in the most recent world championships, or equivalent events for sports that do not hold world championships.
Barra has revised his forecast since August, when he predicted China would top the gold-medal table with 45, followed by the United States (41) and Russia (34).
He projected the US would keep the overall lead with 99.
Barra has made such forecasts for previous Olympics, and follows events closely to make the prognostications, but there is still guesswork involved.
In his final prediction before the 2004 Athens Games, he underestimated the eventual US medal haul by 30. He overestimated China’s by eight.
At the 2004 Athens Olympics, the US led the gold (36) and overall (102) medal count.
China were second in golds (32) and third overall (63). Russia wer third in golds (27) and second overall (92).
Both China and the United States are downplaying their chances in the Aug 8-24 Olympics.
The home-country always get a boost from hosting the Games, but this time Chinese officials are saying they will be disadvantaged by the pressure.
The Americans say they are being outspent by the Chinese, who will benefit from being at home.
China’s strengths lie in table tennis, diving, badminton and women’s weightlifting. – AP