Japan set to win most Olympic gold medals since 2004, analysts say

Japan looks set to surpass its previous best gold medal total at the upcoming Tokyo Games, an analyst predicted on Tuesday, with 26 Olympic titles expected, giving it 10 more than the country’s previous record.

If the country can achieve that level of success by the Games close on August 8, sports data and analytics provider Gracenote Sports predicts it will finish fourth in the medal table, its highest position in 53 years. .

A total of 26 gold medals would be higher than what Japan collected at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and London combined, and would surpass the 16 they won at the 2004 and 1964 Games – the latter being l other time Tokyo was the host.

The prediction game is far from straightforward at these Olympics, however, with cancellations necessitated by a pandemic complicating the calculations.

“These Olympics are even more unpredictable than usual,” said Simon Gleave, manager of sports analysis at Gracenote. “Many events were canceled in 2020, and although they were replaced by events held this year, athletes from some countries like China did not participate in these more recent events.

“In general, the medal totals for most of the top nations are not that far from what we would expect based on previous Olympics.”

As for the total number of medals, the “virtual medal table” of analysts based in the Netherlands places Japan behind the United States, the Russian Olympic Committee – as Russia will be known at the Games due to the related sanctions. doping – and China. .

Members of the Japanese softball team arrive in the city of Fukushima on Monday before their first game on Wednesday.  |  KYODO
Members of the Japanese softball team arrive in the city of Fukushima on Monday before their first game on Wednesday. | KYODO

If the company’s projection of 60 medals continues, Japan will destroy its previous record of 41 set in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Gold medal headliners include some of the country’s most prominent athletes, as well as some who may soon be known in homes across the archipelago.

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka is set to return from her sanity break to win gold in the women’s singles on her Olympic debut. After a 13-year absence from the Olympic program, Japan are set to win both baseball and softball crowns – a single-game feat the United States had previously achieved only in 2000 in Sydney.

If the forecast goes according to plan, Daiya Seto will release games as Japan’s most awarded athlete. The 27-year-old is set to win the men’s 200 and 400-meter individual medley – the only gold medals in swimming in Japan – as well as a silver in the 200-meter butterfly.

The new sports added to the Tokyo Olympics are a big reason why Japan could reach new heights when it comes to medals.

US-raised surfer Kanoa Igarashi is set to win the first men’s Olympic gold medal in his sport, while skateboarding could earn three more Olympic titles: Aori Nishimura in the women’s street, Sakura Yosozumi in the park women and Yuto Horigome in the men’s park.

In the other two new sports, Tomoa Narasaki is nominated for gold in men’s sport climbing while Ryo Kiyuna is destined for the top step of the podium in men’s individual karate kata.

Japan has never won an Olympic gold medal in any type of cycling, a race of futility expected to end in Tokyo with the emergence of track stars Yumi Kajihara and Yuta Wakimoto. The former is expected to win gold in the women’s omnium and the runner-up in the men’s keirin.

With the retirement of a number of renowned acrobatic wrestlers, Japan’s long history as a powerhouse in the sport looks set to come to an end. Gracenote predicts he won’t win any gold medals, a significant drop from the four he won in each of the last two games and the first time he will be without an Olympic title since 2000.

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