According to the predictions of our Sports Research Team, the coming Olympic Games will see Britain walking away with 55 medals.


Average Medal Table
(top 10 only to 2 decimal places)
What happened


USA is very likely (97%) to finish top of the medal table. This is due to a hefty drop in expected medals for China compared to London 2012, and especially compared to Beijing 2008. It’s impossible to assign a definite reason for this; perhaps there have been funding cuts since the Beijing Games, maybe they’re regressing to their mean ability, and it is difficult to ignore the general feeling mooted by the country’s social media users branding the Games ‘the worst ever’. Russia’s drop can be explained by many of their athletes currently being banned from competing.

We’re predicting 18 golds for GBR compared to London 2012’s observed 29, giving us a 56% chance of finishing in the top 3 of the medal table. There is a very good chance of hitting the overall target of 48 total medals because we’re expecting a similar amount of silver and bronze to London 2012 (in fact, we think there is a 95% chance that we’ll make it).

Public expectations are high in cycling, and we agree this is where our best medal hopes lie with an expected 7.5 medals; however, there is still a 51% chance of missing the minimum target of 8. Below are the sports where GBR have a greater than (sometimes much greater than) 50/50 chance of coming away with the minimum medal target (in alphabetical order):

Athletics*, Boxing, Diving, Equestrian, Gymnastics, Modern Pentathlon, Sailing, Swimming, Taekwondo, Tennis, and Triathlon.

* Charles van Commenee, head of UK athletics, had to step down after Team GB failed to hit their medals target of 8 in London. The target has been reduced to 7 for Rio, but we are still predicting a 39.7% chance of missing out again.

GBR Swimming is most likely to exceed its targets. We think there is a 74% chance that the GBR team will exceed their maximum target of 5 medals, and less than a 1% chance that they won’t make their minimum target of 3 medals. We think that Canoeing is mostly likely to miss its targets, with a 66% chance of coming away with less than 3 medals.

Australia looks like they’ll be the closest rivals to team GBR’s performance with a 30% chance of finishing in the top 3 of the medal table.

We’ll have the lot

Percentage chance of a NOC winning all the gold medals within a sport category, demonstrating total world domination:

USA 91% (Basketball [2]); Russia 82% (Synchronised Swimming [2]); China 73% (Table Tennis [4]) and 32% (Diving [8]); South Korea 41% (Archery [4]); Netherlands 17% (Hockey [2]); and Great Britain 10% (Triathlon [2]).


A most impressive showing of dominance by China, particularly in diving where there are 8 golds up for grabs.