|Hosts: Tokyo, Japan Dates: 23 July-8 August|
|Coverage: Watch dwell on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and on-line; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; dwell textual content and video clips on BBC Sport web site and app.|
With simply three days to go till the opening ceremony will get underneath approach, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are FINALLY right here.
But which nation will prime the medal desk? Where will Team GB end? And who will win the medals?
Gracenote, the world’s main leisure knowledge and expertise firm, predicts all for BBC Sport.
Who will prime the medal desk?
The United States are prime of Gracenote’s digital medal desk – a statistical mannequin primarily based on particular person and workforce leads to earlier Olympics, World Championships and World Cups.
That mannequin predicts the USA will take 96 medals in Tokyo, and that they’ll end prime of the desk for the seventh successive summer time Olympics.
But how correct is such a forecast?
“Normally a data-driven forecast of the summer Olympics provides a good assessment of how the medal table will look,” stated Simon Gleave, head of sports activities evaluation at Gracenote.
“There will always be countries and athletes who over-achieve and under-perform in comparison to their results prior to the Games though – and this is why sport is so compelling. We can never truly know what will happen.”
Athletes competing underneath the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) flag are predicted to end second, with 68 medals in complete, however might face competitors from China for that second-place rating.
After they fell to 70 medals at Rio 2016, China are forecast to get 66 this time – however their precise tally could also be larger, as nearly 80% of the Chinese athletes ranked in the prime eight for their occasion by Gracenote have recorded no outcomes since the Covid-19 pandemic started.
And that, says Gleave, is why forecasting is especially tough this time round.
He stated: “This Olympics is even more unpredictable than usual. Many events were cancelled in 2020 and although they have been replaced with events held this year, athletes from some countries, like China, have not competed in those more recent events.”
A robust Games for the hosts – however a drop in medals for Team GB?
Hosts Japan are anticipated to enhance their Rio figures by almost 50%, bringing them to 60, due to a mixture of extra medals in the nation’s strongest sports activities in addition to potential success in the new sports activities of skateboarding, sport climbing and baseball.
Fifth place is forecast as Team GB’s ending spot, dropping from third 5 years in the past in Rio. It could be the fourth successive summer time Games during which Team GB has completed in the prime 5 by way of complete medals.
It is predicted there shall be a drop of 15 medals from 2016, giving Britain a complete of 52, due to decrease expectations in observe biking, inventive gymnastics, and rowing amongst others.
“In general, the medal totals for most of the top nations are not too far removed from what we would expect based on previous Olympics,” Gleave stated.
“Countries who appear to be likely to do much better than usual, like the Netherlands, were predicted roughly the medals they are predicted now, before the pandemic hit.
“We have made some changes to our ordinary mannequin, however there may be little that may be accomplished about the rivals with no outcomes since March 2020. Their projected rankings could also be underrated when occasions have taken place with out them. On the different hand, that lack of competitors is also a handicap in itself.”
Who will win what for Team GB?
Of those 52 medals predicted for Team GB, 14 are expected to be gold. But who is forecast to win them?
Adam Peaty is the obvious one, expected to defend his 100m breaststroke title from Rio, while gymnast Max Whitlock is also tipped to retain his pommel horse gold.
Also backed to defend their titles are sprint canoeist Liam Heath, taekwondo star Jade Jones, and diver Jack Laugher in the synchronised 3m springboard, this time with Daniel Goodfellow.
In athletics, the men’s 4x100m relay squad are forecast to win gold, as is the men’s 4x100m medley relay quartet in swimming.
Also in line to take the top step of the podium are boxer Lauren Price, Laura Collett and Ben Maher in equestrian, shooters Seonaid McIntosh and Amber Hill, and sailors Anna Burnet and John Gimson in the mixed Nacra 17.
In rowing, Britain’s men’s four – this time consisting of Ollie Cook, Matt Rossiter, Rory Gibbs and Sholto Carnegie – are expected to win the Olympic title for a sixth successive Games, a run dating back to Sydney 2000.
Among those in line for silver are athletes Dina Asher-Smith (200m), Laura Muir (1500m) and Jemma Reekie (800m), diver Tom Daley (10m platform), Kate French in the women’s modern pentathlon, triathlete Jess Learmonth and weightlifter Emily Campbell.
In track cycling, only two medals – both silver – are forecast, in the women’s team pursuit and men’s team sprint.
Team GB’s women’s hockey team, victorious in Rio, are projected to claim bronze.
“It appears unlikely that Great Britain will repeat its success of the final two Olympic Games and will probably be very onerous to end larger than fifth on complete medals due to the seemingly resurgence of Russian rivals underneath the Russian Olympic Committee banner and the energy of Japan as host nation,” stated Gleave.
“Track biking might be the sport during which Great Britain might do higher than the knowledge suggests as there have been only a few occasions since final yr’s World Championships, an occasion during which the British workforce didn’t compete with the bikes they’ll use in Tokyo.”
Who to watch from Japan?
One name to keep an eye on is swimmer Daiya Seto, a multiple world champion and world record holder in the pool.
The 27-year-old is tipped to win gold in both the 200m and 400m individual medleys, as well as silver in the 200m butterfly.
A Japanese one-two is projected in the women’s park skateboarding, gold for Sakura Yosozumi and silver for Misugu Okamoto, as well as further skateboarding golds in the men’s and women’s street.
Japan are also forecast to do well in the new, and returning, sports of baseball, karate, softball, sport climbing and surfing.
Prior to London 2012, Japan had never won an Olympic medal on the badminton court, but that has all changed. They are expected to win five on their home patch, including two singles golds – Kento Momota for the men and Nozomi Okuhara for the women.
But one big name missing from the projected medallists is judoka Shohei Ono. He hasn’t taken part in any events since 2019, missing plenty of potential opportunities such as World Championships, World Masters and Grand Slam events in which other top Japanese judo stars have participated.
Who will be the international stars of the Games?
If we were to ask you to name a likely winner of multiple Olympic medals in Tokyo, Simone Biles would probably be top of your list.
The 24-year-old American gymnast won five medals, including four golds, at her debut Games in Rio, and is forecast by Gracenote to be a frequent visitor to the podium in Tokyo too.
Other athletes anticipated to win multiple medals include swimmers Katie Ledecky (US), Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden) and Caeleb Dressel (US), athletics stars Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda), Sifan Hassan (Netherlands) and Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bahamas), and track cyclists Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands), Lee Wai Sze (Hong Kong) and Emma Hinze (Germany).
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In the road cycling, Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek van Vleuten (both Netherlands) are predicted to dominate the women’s races.
Look out too for two-time world champion Logan Martin (Australia) and three-time world champion Hannah Roberts (US) in the men’s and women’s BMX park events.
Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis, the European gold and world silver medallist, is also set to make an eagerly-awaited Olympic debut.
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