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OK, on to the Olympic stuff:
How many medals will Canada win? It’s extra-hard to say this time
Even in one of the best of instances, predicting Olympic medals is an inexact science. And the Tokyo Games should not happening in one of the best of instances. A once-in-a-century world pandemic brought on the cancellation of numerous world championships, World Cups and different main occasions over the previous 12 months and a half or so, rendering many Olympic athletes unable to compete — and even prepare correctly — for a protracted stretch of time. International competitors regained some normalcy over the previous few months, however issues remained spotty amid all of the journey restrictions, security considerations and different complications concerned with attempting to play sports activities throughout a worldwide well being disaster.
All this has been powerful on the athletes — clearly. And it is also made issues harder for forecasters like Gracenote, an information firm that initiatives the medal winners for each occasion within the Olympics based mostly on outcomes from “key global and continental competitions” because the final Summer Games. With these competitions in brief provide, Gracenote calls the Tokyo Olympics even “more unpredictable than normal.”
The greatest black field is China, which has largely stayed away from worldwide competitors because the begin of the pandemic. Gracenote says that just about 80 per cent of the Chinese athletes its mannequin ranks within the prime eight of their occasions haven’t produced any ends in the final 12 months and a half. Still, China is projected to complete second within the medal standings with 33 gold (seven behind the United States) and third within the whole depend with 66 (the U.S. is projected for 96, and the Russian workforce is second at 68). But the system could possibly be underrating China’s podium probabilities. “No other top nation has so much missing information,” says Simon Gleave, the Head of Analytics for Gracenote Sports.
Find stay streams, must-watch video highlights, breaking information and extra in a single good Olympic Games package deal. Following Team Canada has by no means been simpler or extra thrilling.
Despite all these caveats, it is nonetheless enjoyable to dive into the projections for an concept of what to anticipate and who to look at over the subsequent 17 days in Tokyo. Here are essentially the most fascinating issues the Gracenote mannequin predicts for Canada, together with some locations the place I believe it may be just a little off:
Canada’s projected medal depend appears very acquainted. The mannequin likes Canada to win 21 medals. That’s one decrease than its whole from the 2016 Games in Rio, however one increased than its common over the previous three Summer Games. Meanwhile, Canadians are projected to win 4 gold medals — the identical quantity they took dwelling from Rio. Gracenote’s mannequin initiatives Damian Warner (decathlon), Jessica Klimkait (judo, girls’s 57kg division), Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay (diving, girls’s 10m synchronized occasion), and Laurence Vincent Lapointe and Katie Vincent (canoe, girls doubles occasion) will attain the highest of the rostrum. The betting markets appear to be knowledgeable by Gracenote’s projections, however, for what’s it is value, they’re roughly in keeping with the mannequin. The present consensus over/beneath strains for Canada are 4.5 gold medals and 21.5 whole.
More than 80 per cent of Canada’s medals shall be received by girls, in accordance with the mannequin. This is definitely down from the eye-popping 95 per cent share it predicted in April, however nonetheless exceptional. Yet not shocking. Women accounted for slightly below three quarters of Canada’s medals in Rio. Swimming sensation Penny Oleksiak led the way in which there with 4 — two particular person, two relay. The Gracenote mannequin has her lacking the rostrum in Tokyo, the place it likes Vincent Lapointe, Benfeito and fellow diver Jennifer Abel to tie for the Canadian lead with a pair of medals every — one solo, one with a companion. Other notable projections for Canadian feminine athletes embrace: Rosie MacLennan falls simply wanting her third consecutive girls’s trampoline gold medal, taking silver; Ellie Black turns into the primary Canadian girl to win a medal in conventional gymnastics by ending second within the all-around occasion, and 2016 wrestling gold medallist Erica Wiebe additionally lands silver.
A couple of locations the place the Canadian projections may be off: On the pessimistic facet, Gracenote’s concern that its mannequin is underestimating Chinese athletes seems to manifest with the Benfeito/McKay gold-medal decide. China just about owns diving: it received seven of the eight gold medals in Rio, with the boys’s 3m springboard the one miss. Sure sufficient, the betting markets have China’s 10m synchro duo as an enormous favorite. On the optimistic facet, Vincent Lapointe was essentially the most dominant girls’s canoe athlete on this planet for the higher a part of the previous decade, profitable half a dozen world titles within the singles 200m occasion, which was simply added to the Olympics. But a constructive doping check in 2019 (later overturned) took her out of competitors for some time and brought on her to overlook the newest world championships, which could possibly be skewing her projection downward. It’s additionally curious that the mannequin picks Canada to win solely two swimming medals after Canadians racked up eight at the newest world championships. It has two-time and reigning world 100m backstroke champ Kylie Masse settling for silver in her marquee occasion, and reigning 100m butterfly world champ Maggie Mac Neil lacking the rostrum altogether. On the boys’s facet, sprinter Andre De Grasse at all times appears to exceed expectations. He received three medals in Rio (100, 200 and 4×100) and has by no means missed the rostrum in a person occasion he is entered on the Olympics or world championships. But the mannequin has him leaving Tokyo with only a bronze within the 200.
It’s the calm earlier than the storm
With the stage being set for the opening ceremony, not so much in the way in which of competitors is occurring tomorrow in Tokyo (that is tonight and tomorrow morning in Canadian time zones). Here are two issues you need to learn about:
The opening ceremony is tomorrow morning. The present begins Friday at 7 a.m. ET, and stay protection begins at 6:30 a.m. ET on the CBC TV community, CBC Gem, the CBC Olympics app and CBC Sports’ Tokyo 2020 web site. Olympic opening ceremonies have a (deserved) fame as over-produced, bloated spectacles. But count on a smaller, extra muted show as Japan and the remainder of the world proceed to grapple with the pandemic. Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium shall be devoid of followers — if you happen to do not depend the appreciable variety of assorted dignitaries who’re invited. Only 30-40 of Canada’s 371 athletes are anticipated to participate — together with flag-bearers Miranda Ayim (girls’s basketball) and Nathan Hirayama (males’s rugby sevens). The relaxation are both competing elsewhere in Japan, on the verge of competing or have not arrived but (athletes had been requested to indicate up no sooner than 5 days earlier than their occasions). The present has already had its share of controversy. Its director was fired over a Holocaust joke he included in a comedy routine in 1998, a composer resigned over feedback he made again within the ’90s about bullying, and the artistic director stepped down after saying a well-known heavyset Japanese comedienne might carry out as an “Olympig.” Read extra about what to anticipate within the ceremony and how you can watch it right here.
Rowing competitors begins tonight. It’s simply heats on the primary day (medal races do not begin till Monday evening in Canadian time zones), however that is our first take a look at Canada’s largest rowing workforce since 1996. Ten Canadian boats (identical as in Atlanta) are entered in numerous occasions. They’re unlikely to match the six medals the ’96 rowers introduced dwelling, however Canada has just a few podium contenders. The greatest is the ladies’s pair crew of Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens. They received gold on the 2018 world championships and bronze in ’19 — the final time the worlds had been held. Filmer and Janssens are within the water for his or her warmth on Friday evening. Tonight, the Canadians in motion are Carling Zeeman (girls’s single sculls), Trevor Jones (males’s single sculls), and Gabrielle Smith and Jessica Sevick (girls’s double sculls). Heats start at 7:30 p.m. ET and you may stream them stay on CBC Gem, the CBC Olympics app and CBC Sports’ Tokyo 2020 web site. Read extra concerning the Canadian rowing workforce’s efforts to rebuild from its humbling one-medal displaying in Rio right here.
Something else to take a look at
The 4% Rising publication. A research executed just a few years again discovered that solely 4 per cent of conventional media protection was dedicated to girls’s sports activities. Hence the title of this text targeted on rising the viewers by telling you what, when and the place to look at. Starting Friday, they’re specializing in the ladies’s occasions you need to catch within the Tokyo Olympics. You can learn the most recent version and subscribe right here.
You’re up to the mark. Talk to you tomorrow.