Wed, Feb 23, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Australia tips Russia to reign supreme in London

Reuters, SYDNEY

Russia will win the most medals at next year’s London Olympics ahead of the US and China, according to an Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) projection released yesterday.

China won the most golds (51) at the Beijing Olympics, but the US won the most medals with 110 to China’s 100, while Russia came in third among the sporting superpowers with 72.

The AOC benchmark, based on the results of world championships, world cup and other major international events last year, projected that Russia would win 97 medals in London ahead of the US (94) and China (93).

Hosts Britain are predicted to garner the fourth-largest haul with 48 medals, one more than they won in Beijing for fourth place on the medals table.

Germany (47), France (45) and Japan (43) are predicted to follow close behind, ahead of Australia in eighth place with a forecast 42 medals.

Australia, who finished fourth in the medals tally at both the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens Games, have targeted a top-five finish in London.

AOC president John Coates said the closeness of the bunch behind the trio of sporting superpowers indicated that their goal was very much achievable.

“There are five countries jostling for fourth and fifth spots who are all very close together,” Coates said.

“The mid to high-40s should be enough to get us into the top five again in London. That is our aim,” he said. “The spread of medals is now greater and the teams from Western Europe will be a greater challenge in London. One thing is certain, if we finish ahead of Great Britain we will finish in the top five.”

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