Olympic Games 2016: Team GB set for medal slump in Rio de Janeiro say economists

Joe Hall
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Olympics Day 8 - Athletics
Jess celebrates gold in 2012...but Team GB may not enjoy such a successful Olympics this summer (Source: Getty)

Great Britain’s net medal haul is set to plummet more than any other nation at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to financial services giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Team GB’s medal total is predicted to take a bigger hit than anyone else, with PwC forecasting the loss of home advantage being the main contributing factor to a shedding of 13 medals from their tally of 65 at London 2012.

That would still keep Team GB in fourth spot, the position they finished after a successful games four years ago, but with just 52 medals.

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PwC economists have turned their attentions to sport to predict performance at this summer’s games and found that the number of medals won at previous games can be explained by three statistically significant factors; the size of a country’s GDP, their performance in the previous two Games and whether or not a country is the host nation.

The US, China and Russia are therefore predicted to once again occupy first, second and third position on the 2016 medal table, while hosts Brazil can anticipate winning eight more medals than they did last time, boosting them from 15th to 11th position.

“David can sometimes beat Goliath in the Olympic arena, although superpowers like the US and China continue to dominate the top of the medals table,” said PwC chief economist John Hawksworth.

“Now it is no longer the host country, Great Britain may find it difficult to match its exceptional performance in London 2012 — though our model suggests it should remain as high as fourth in Rio with over 50 medals in total.”

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