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Olympics Predictions 2021: Predicting Tokyo's Final Medal Count

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 22, 2021

US gymnast Simone Biles jokes with her teammate Jordan Chiles while taking part in a training session at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on July 22, 2021, on the eve of the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
LOIC VENANCE/Getty Images

The United States has won over 100 medals at each of the last four Summer Olympics. 

In those four Olympics, the United States did not have a challenger within 10 overall medals of it in the final table. In 2008, China produced 12 more gold medals than the United States on home soil, but the Americans still came away with the highest overall total. 

The USA and China should compete once again for the top spots on the Tokyo Olympics medal table over the next two weeks. 

Some of the American medal favorites are obvious, with Simone Biles, Caeleb Dressel and both basketball teams projected to win gold in their respective events. 

To get over the century mark again, the United States needs a well-rounded performance, and with that should come some unexpected medal winners that will be talked about back home for days and weeks. 

            

Tokyo Olympics Medal Count Predictions

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1. United States, 115

2. China, 84

3. Great Britain, 50

4. Russian Olympic Committee, 48

5. Japan, 45 

     

The United States and China brought some of the largest delegations to the Tokyo Olympics and carry a ton of gold-medal favorites. 

Biles, Dressel, Sydney McLaughlin and Noah Lyles are among the Americans in prominent sports who you will be hearing about for the next two weeks. 

Biles is expected to once again be the star of the gymnastics competition, while Dressel could be the most decorated man in the pool. 

The U.S. is also two or three deep in certain events. 

For example, the women's gymnastics team could produce multiple medalists in a handful of individual events thanks to Sunisa Lee, MyKayla Skinner and others. On the track, McLaughlin's top competitor in the 400-meter hurdles is fellow American Dalilah Muhammad. 

The Americans can collect some medals in the team sports as well. The softball team is off to a 2-0 start in pool play, while the women's soccer team is still in contention for gold despite an opening-match defeat to Sweden. 

China should challenge the Americans through its traditional dominance in certain sports, like diving, table tennis and weightlifting. 

In 2016, China took seven gold medals in the diving events, swept the four events in table tennis and took five first-place marks in weightlifting. 

The competition below the United States and China for third place will be a fascinating battle between Great Britain, France, Australia, Japan and the Russian Olympic Committee. 

The Russian athletes are not allowed to participate under their flag because of sanctions on the country's Olympic federation, so they will go by that title in the medal table. 

Five years ago, Great Britain finished with one more gold medal than China but with three fewer overall awards. Russia and Germany took fourth and fifth, respectively, while Japan was one behind Germany for sixth.

Expect Japan to receive the host nation bump in the medal table. China experienced that in 2008 while winning the most golds, and Great Britain produced two more gold medals in 2012 than it had in Brazil. 

Japan should dominate the martial arts events in judo and karate. It took 12 medals in judo in Brazil. Japan may also take one of the more high-profile individual events if Naomi Osaka prevails in the women's tennis tournament. 

The host nation may not do enough to top the medal table, but it should contend with a handful of European countries and Australia to finish inside the top five. 

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