Streets Lined With Silver (Up to day 8)

Introduction

Before the London Games started The Conversation published a post about medal predictions. After eight days of competition it is interesting to note where these predictions stand.

The projections for total medals won at the Games using performance data were:

  1. China
  2. USA
  3. Russia
  4. Great Britain
  5. Germany
  6. Australia
  7. France
  8. Japan
  9. Italy
  10. South Korea

After Day 8 of competition the standing was:

  1. USA
  2. China
  3. Great Britain
  4. Russia
  5. Japan
  6. France
  7. Germany
  8. Australia
  9. Italy
  10. South Korea

The last prediction for gold medal winning performances before the Games was:

  • USA 36 gold medals
  • China 32
  • Russia 21
  • Great Britain 19
  • Germany 17
  • Italy 12
  • Australia 11
  • France 10
  • Japan 10
  • Korea 10

Going for Gold

The United States of America (26 gold medals), China (25) and Great Britain (14) lead the gold medal table at present. The USA won 6 gold medals on Day 5 of competition and Great Britain replicated that effort on Day 8.

The gold medal trend for these three nations has been:

On Day 4 of the Games Great Britain were lying in twenty-first position. After a remarkable Day 8 they find themselves in third position. Australia is in the very unusual position of winning only one gold medal in this period. Australia has won 12 silver medals and a small number of conversions to gold from silver would have transformed Australia’s overall standing. Although no solace for those seeking a gold pay lode Australia are forth in the list of silver medal winners behind China, USA and Russia.

Odds On?

 Before the Games started I recorded the Olympic betting market set by a leading UK bookmaking company, William Hill. I thought it would be interesting to compare insights from betting markets with predictions based on performance data.

Up to the conclusion of Day 8 the pre-Games favourites identified by William Hill had won 67 of the 123 events for which there was a market. The most accurate markets have been Diving (four out of four), Equestrian (two out of two), Artistic Gymnastics (three out of four), Tennis (two out of two) and Swimming (twenty-two out of thirty-two). The most difficult sports for favourites to win appear to have been Badminton (thanks in part to strategic losing), Canoe Slalom, and Fencing.

Outliers

In addition to Great Britain’s performance in the first week of the Games there have been other notable performances. Kazakhstan has won five medals all of them gold. Teams from the Korean peninsula have won thirteen gold medals between them (nine for the Republic of Korea and four for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). Japan has won ten silver and twelve bronze medals.

With eight more days of competition Russia, Germany and Australia have some significant opportunities to transform their standing in the medal table. It will be interesting to see just how powerful Great Britain’s home advantage is in comparison to Sydney and Beijing.

Photo Credit

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