THE OFFICIAL medal target for British athletes may be 48, but if a team of financial risk analysts have their way then Team GB should be taking home a much higher haul of precious metals.
According to Airton Risk Management, part of betting firm Paddy Power, the home turf advantage and some surprise star performances could push the final count to 61, meaning the British team could finally muscle in on the traditional top three positions held by China, the US and Russia.
On top of expected victories by Team GB stalwarts such as sailor Ben Ainslie and boxer Anthony Joshua, Airton is predicting that up-and-coming 400m hurdler Perri Shakes-Drayton could triumph in front of her home crowd, while discus newbie Lawrence Okoye (he only took up the sport 18 months ago) may also bag a medal.
Meanwhile economists at ING have taken a rather more scientific approach to the art of medal prediction – linking the likelihood of success not only to GDP per capita, but also claiming a good performance will boost UK productivity.
“In addition to the home advantage, a link has been established between wealth – a higher gross domestic product (GDP) per capita – and medal success, shown in a body of academic research,” ING’s chief economist Ian Bright.
“As far as effects on personal finance go, it is possible that Brits will get a ‘happy effect’ from British athletes doing well. When people are happy, they tend to be more productive, which can be good for them and good for the wider economy as well.”