Olympics Predictions 2021: Projecting Final Medal Table for USA and Top Nations

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 21, 2021

Caeleb Dressel reacts after winning the men's 50 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

The United States of America carries high expectations for its athletes going into any Olympic Games.

In particular, the Summer Olympics should be where the Americans control the most popular individual and team sports to top the overall medal count. 

Five years ago, the United States picked up 121 medals, which beat out second-place China by 51 medals. 

China, Russia, Germany and Japan slotted in behind the USA and Great Britain on the medal count from Rio de Janeiro. The same nations are expected to contend for the positions over the next two weeks in Tokyo. 

At DraftKings Sportsbook, the USA has an over/under of 112.5 medals, which is by far the highest prop assigned to any nation. China has the next highest total at 85.5, while Great Britain and France have props over 40

With that in mind, the USA should top the Summer Olympics medal count once again. It is just a matter of which athletes pick up those medals and which place they all represent. 


Medal Table Projections

1. United States

2. China

3. Great Britain

4. Australia

5. France


The United States comes into Tokyo with a handful of medal favorites across some of the most popular sports. 

Simone Biles is attempting to win multiple gold medals in gymnastics once again, and Caeleb Dressel should be one of the swimming stars in the pool. 

Trayvon Bromell, Noah Lyles and Sydney McLaughlin are expected to excel in their respective track and field events to add to the USA's individual medal haul. 

Although the men's basketball team struggled in its warm-up games, it was without Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton and Devin Booker, all of whom should be en route soon after Tuesday's conclusion of the NBA Finals. 

The United States women's soccer team suffered a surprising defeat at the hands of Sweden on Wednesday, but it should recover from that result. 

The women's soccer tournament has eight of 12 teams advance to the knockout round, so the USWNT should have ample opportunities to get back into medal contention. 

China is expected to land the second-best medal haul through dominance in a handful of sports, including diving, table tennis and weightlifting. 

The medal control across those sports should create separation between China and the other nations that will likely be fighting for third place. 

Australia has a chance to take third on the overall medal board if its swimmers turn in some dominant performances in the pool. Ariarne Titmus, Kaylee McKeown and Mitch Larkin are among the swimmers to watch from down under. 

Great Britain has the potential to pick up medals behind the Americans and Australians in the pool, and they could earn the most medals from the cycling events. 

Team GB's women's soccer team could also contend for the gold in that tournament. It opened play on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Chile that was powered by an Ellen White brace. 

France should have a good mix of medals throughout its overall count, but it may not win enough golds to get past the nations above it. For example, its men's basketball team could win a prize in Tokyo, but it may have to go through tougher elimination matchups since it resides in the USA's group. 

A handful of other nations will be in the spotlight in certain events, like Jamaica in the track and field sprints, but not many are expected to reach the heights of the top five or six nations. 


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