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Boxing : Can Adams, Taylor and Shields retain their Olympic titles in Rio
by Michael O'Neill
March 26, 2015
photo: Rio 2016

(MAR 26)  Marlen Esparza (52kg), Katie Taylor (60kg) and Claressa Shields (75kg) will strike Olympic Gold in Rio in August 2016!

Apologies Nicola Adams MBE but you won’t even be representing G.B – Lisa Whiteside will take your place and collect Bronze in the Flyweight division.

No, your correspondent has not been consulting ‘Mystic Meg’ nor astrological charts! Nor has he been having too much wine or Guinness!

Here at WBAN we really do appreciate how difficult it is to win an Olympic Gold in any sport, and in boxing possibly more difficult than in most.

So who IS predicting the outcome?

Well that is the ‘informed’ opinion of leading Dutch- and internationally renowned - statistical and forecasting experts INFOSTRADA, based on ‘current’ data.

The good news though for the United States and especially Team USA is that the Americans will become the top sporting Nation in Rio with more Gold medals than any other country.

United States are projected to top the medal table at Rio 2016 with 47 golds, at least 19 more than any other NOC. The projected American total of 97 medals would also be the most in Rio but would fall 7 short of the 104 the team managed in London in 2012. Half of the medals expected to be won by the USA next year look likely to come from either athletics or swimming.

Swimmers Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky will probably join gymnast Simone Biles as the most successful American competitors in individual events at the 2016 Games and the Infostrada Sports Virtual Medal Table expects American women to again be more successful than their male counterparts.

Fifty-four of the 94 predicted medals and 28 of the 47 gold medals are currently projected for the American women with the aforementioned trio all currently in gold medal position in multiple individual events. The only American male competitor projected to do win more than one individual gold medal is legendary swimmer Michael Phelps.

The influence of women on American Olympic success has grown over the years with more than half of USA's medals being won by women for the first time in 2012. The Virtual Medal Table's opening projection suggests that this pattern will continue in Rio.

Do remember though that few athletes from any nation have actually qualified to take part in the Rio Games and even defending champions like Adams, Taylor & Shields will need to qualify through their sports “qualifying tournaments” inc the 2016 Women’s World Elite boxing champions, and that assumes that they will gain their own country’s nomination . Remember too that Infostrada’s data to date suggests that Adams will not be in Rio, at least as a competitor. I’m sure that Nicola begs to differ! Lisa Whiteside beware! A quandary for the GB selectors that’s for sure.

For Ireland, can Taylor qualify and then take Gold again in Rio? Well ‘if anyone can, Katie can’. The IABA’s High Performance Coach Billy Walsh clearly has faith in her ability to do so again as he explained to the ‘Irish Independent’ after the 2014 World Elite championships where she won Gold for the 5th time in a row.

Walsh believes that her extraordinary work ethic has established Taylor as the best, pound for pound, female boxer on the planet and will sustain her all the way to Brazil.

"The fear of losing, of letting people down, of not bringing back the gold medal is what drives her on" he explained. "She could have filled the 3 Arena no problem had she turned Pro and probably won a world title within five or six contests.

"But Katie probably only started getting the recognition she deserved when she won the Olympic gold medal. She never put her feet up after and said 'Happy days, I've made it!'

"So while opponents ARE improving, Katie keeps raising the bar. She wants to be the best athlete that Ireland has ever produced."

Canada’s 75kg Middleweight champ and world no.4, Ariane Fortin is tipped to take bronze behind Claressa Shields. I’m sure that will be of some comfort to Ariane and her teammates at Boxing Canada but she will undoubtedly be even happier if she can convert that bronze to at least silver and possibly Gold and she does have a sporting chance, methinks. Nouchka Fontijn from the Netherlands, the 3rd ranked middleweight is also tipped for bronze.

Three Golds, two silver and a bronze for Russian male boxers but none for their women – that would be a surprise. I find it hard to believe that neither Ochigava nor Beliakova nor any of the other great Russian women pugilists will be but spectators when medals are being distributed. Same fate awaits those fine Bulgarian women apparently, again I’d be surprised if they do not get at least two medals.

France can ‘look’ to Estelle Mosselly for bronze at 60kg – a realistic possibility - whilst at 60kg also, China’s Yin Junhua is nominated as the other bronze medallist which leaves but the silver at stake and that ‘goes’ to Azerbaijan’s Yana Allekseevna. In other words an identical outcome to the 2014 Women’s world elite final when again those on the podium were Taylor, Allekseevna, Junhua and Mosselly.

On the subject of ‘host nation’ Infostrada Sports’ Virtual Medal Table predicts Brazil will achieve its best ever medal tally in Rio.

Having improved its performance at each of the last two Summer Games, Brazil is expected to make further gains in 2016. In Beijing and London the South American nation finished on 15 and 17 medals, respectively. Competing at a home Games in 2016, Brazilian athletes are projected to claim 10 golds, 14 silver and three bronze medals.

Achieving this would lead to an eighth place finish on the overall medal table, ahead of historically strong Olympic nations such as Japan, Hungary and Italy.

What of Great Britain? – Infostrada again:

Great Britain's haul of 65 medals at the London Games was their best Olympic performance since they first hosted the competition in 1908. The target this time is to become the first NOC ever to improve on their performance as hosts at the subsequent Games.

Currently the Infostrada Sports Virtual Medal projection suggests that the British are some way short of the 66 medals required to do this.

Great Britain are projected to finish in seventh place in the Rio medal table with 45 medals, a drop of 20 on four years earlier but there may still be hope of challenging the 2012 total next year.

United States are projected to top the medal table at Rio 2016 with 47 golds, at least 19 more than any other NOC. The projected American total of 97 medals would also be the most in Rio but would fall 7 short of the 104 the team managed in London in 2012. Half of the medals expected to be won by the USA next year look likely to come from either athletics or swimming.

On August 4th 2016 – now less than 500 days away – the Opening Ceremony of the XXX1 Summer Games will take place in Rio de Janeiro.

Who are ‘Infostrada’?

A Dutch organisation, Infostrada Sports offers unique data, media, analytic and event services to the world’s sports industry.

They manage the world’s largest sports database, covering over 250 sports worldwide, historical and live.

Over the past 15 years, a central data platform has been developed for sports results and biographical data on tens of thousands of athletes.

Infostrada Sports’ clients include sports federations, national Olympic committees, event organisers, rights agencies, broadcasters, media publishers, brands and app developers.

You can find full information on Infostrada including link to their “predicted’ final medals table here:

(If you want to know who the Infostrada team predict will gain medals for YOUR country just click on position of that country in the Virtual Medals Table?)


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