Friday marks six months to the opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympics in Toyko and the early forecasts are in on which countries will haul in the most medals.
The United States and China are picked to finish 1-2 in the overall medal count according to Gracenote Sports, which is one of the most reliable in forecasting medal winners. It looks at major results since the last summer Olympics to make its predictions.
Gracenote predicts the U.S. will bring in 117 medals, with 47 of them gold.
China is picked to win 87 overall and 43 gold.
Russia comes in third with 66 overall and 25 gold. But this is where it gets tricky. Russia is facing a four-year Olympic ban for manipulating doping data. Just like at the 2018 Games, Russian athletes may have to compete under the Olympic flag and not officially for Russia. It's also not clear how many Russian athletes will attend, so this forecast could go down. Russia is appealing the ban.
Host nation Japan is expected to win 65 medals overall, a 50% increase from four years ago. That includes 30 gold medals.
Here are the top 10 of the predicted overall medal winners from Gracenote, courtesy of the Associated Press.
- United States: 117
- China: 87
- Russia: 66
- Japan: 65
- Australia: 44
- Britain: 42
- Netherlands: 41
- France: 37
- Germany: 35
- Italy: 32