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What will be the impact of Russia's suspension in athletics?

The latest Gracenote Virtual Medal Table (VMT) predicts Russia to claim a total of 63 medals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games of which 20 gold, 23 silver and 20 bronze. These medals still include the possible silverware in athletics as a final decision on the participation of the Russian athletes in Rio by the CAS will be made on 21 July.

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The Russian athletics team are currently forecast to win six medals in Rio de Janeiro - silver in men's 110m hurdles, bronze in women's 4 x 400m relay, silver in women's hammer throw, silver and bronze in women's high jump and silver in women's triple jump.

Should the suspension of Russia be upheld by the CAS later this month, six NOCs are expected to profit and gain a medal in athletics according to the VMT - Spain, Nigeria, China, Croatia, Poland and Venezuela. In addition, Germany, Kazakhstan and Jamaica will each exchange one bronze medal in athletics for a silver one.

For Venezuela this would be their second ever Olympic medal in athletics after Arnoldo Devonish grabbed silver in men's triple jump at the 1952 Games. If Russia's athletes are expelled, Venezuela are predicted to claim bronze in women's triple jump in Rio next month.

Croatia could move up to a silver position in women's high jump without Russia's participation. This would give them two medals in athletics as they are already expected to win the gold medal in women's discus throw with Sandra Perkovic. In their previous six participations to the Olympic Games they claimed a total of two athletics medals (one gold, one silver).

Without the six medals in athletics, Russia will be on a predicted 57 medals for the Olympic Games in Rio. This would give the NOC its smallest amount of silverware in the 20 years competing as Russia in the competition as their previous low is the 63 medals won at Atlanta 1996.

50 medals for Germany for first time since 2000

Germany have risen a place from sixth to fifth in the latest Virtual Medal Table (VMT), swapping positions with Australia after the German's projected medal tally improved by two to 50, including 16 golds.

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The half century barrier of medals was last broken by the Germans in Sydney in 2000, when they won 56 medals. Between 1992 and 2008 the number of medals won by Germany gradually decreased to a low of 41 after re-unification but there was a slight upturn last time around, at London 2012. Another increase from the 2012 total of 44 would be the first time that Germany's medal total has improved at two successive Olympics.

Germany's predicted tally of 16 gold medals is one more than a month ago. Christian Reitz is now projected to win gold in shooting (25m Rapid Fire Pistol) instead of the Korean shooter Kim Jun-Hong. If he were to win gold, Reitz would follow in the footsteps of Ralf Schumann, who won the Olympic title in this discipline in 1992, 1996 and 2004. The only other German to win this event was Cornelius Van Oyen in 1936. No other NOC has won this discipline more than three times.

In our latest prediction, Kristina Vogel is predicted to win two gold medals and a bronze medal, making her the most decorated German athlete of the Rio 2016 Games. The track cyclist is projected to win gold in women's keirin and women's sprint. In the team sprint she is projected to win bronze with her partner Miriam Welte. The reigning Olympic champions claimed bronze at the last World Championships. 

Brownlee to help Great Britain to record medal haul

Triathlete Alistair Brownlee (GBR) is in good shape for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, leapfrogging Spaniard Javier Gómez for second place in the men's triathlon according to the latest Gracenote Virtual Medal Table (VMT). The 2012 Olympic champion - who hopes to become the first multi-gold medallist in the triathlon - now only chases Mario Mola (ESP) for first place.  

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Brownlee's VMT rise follows his two wins in the last two World Triathlon races, becoming the hometown hero in Leeds (12 June) and crossing the line first in Stockholm a month later (2 July). These were his first two wins of the year and his first in an Olympic distance triathlon since winning in Cape Town in April 2015. Alistair's younger brother Jonathan, who won the bronze medal at the London Games, remains in fourth place in the VMT forecast.

Great Britain is currently predicted to win 18 gold medals in Rio as part of a total haul of 51 medals  (G18-S16-B17), an increase of two since our last forecast a month ago. It would be the third time that Great Britain have broken the 50-medal mark and the first time outside Great Britain after 140 medals in London in 1908 and 65 in 2012.



The Virtual Medal Table is an excellent means of engaging fans on any platform. The tool is available to sports organisations, media publishers, sponsors and advertisers looking to activate their involvement in the world’s biggest sporting event.

  • The VMT provides unique insights into identifying the countries and athletes that are most likely to be successful at the 2016 Olympic Games;
  • The VMT is dynamic - monthly updates illustrate the changing balance of power in Olympic sports leading up to Rio 2016;
  • The VMT is an excellent source of editorial content and will increase engagement with your audience;
  • The VMT can be sponsored and used to activate the marketing programmes of advertisers and brands;
  • The VMT is easily embedded onto any webpage and highlighting its insights on social media will draw extra traffic to your site.

Using performances in all Olympic sports events with world class fields, we are able to produce a prediction of the results for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio if they were held tomorrow. This forecast is in the form of the top-8 in order for each of the medal events at the Games and an overall medal table.

The VMT is a statistical model based on results in Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cups (or equivalent). It takes account of the following:

  • Results. Points are awarded for every result based on rank. Big time or points differences are also rewarded as is dominance for athletes with few results.
  • Time. A recent result is always worth more than an older one based on a continuous function.
  • Competition. More weight is given to a result achieved in a World Championship or Olympic Games than in a World Cup event.