LONDON - If the Summer Olympics were held today, China would win 11 more gold
medals than the United States.
That's the projection of a "relative" Olympic medals table released Tuesday
by the British Olympic Association. The figures are based on results in Olympic
sports and disciplines competed at the world level in 2006.
"We've looked upon the most appropriate mechanism for gauging the individual
sports," BOA chief executive Simon Clegg said. "European championship results
have not been taken into account."
The US topped the medals list at the 2004 Athens Olympics with 35 golds and
103 total. China won 32 golds and 63 total. Russia had 27 golds and 92 total.
With the next Olympics being held in Beijing in 2008, China is expected to
challenge for medal supremacy.
According to the British study of 2006 results, China would top the gold
medal table with 48, and total 84 overall. The United States would win 37 gold
and 93 total, followed by Russia (32-82), Australia (20-43) and the Netherlands
Last month, US Olympic Committee chief executive Jim Scherr said the Beijing
Games will be the most competitive in history and American athletes will have to
surpass 35 golds to top the list.
"The Chinese will certainly have a great shot at winning the gold-medal table
and the overall count," Scherr said. "It will take north of 40, but maybe fewer
than 100 overall."
China has tried to lower expectations, although winning the medal count is
believed to be at the heart of the country's Olympic preparations.
Britain, meanwhile, is hoping to finish fourth in the medals count when the
games are held in London in 2012.
Britain was 10th at the Athens Olympics with five gold and 37 total.
According to the BOA's 2006 list, Britain would be seventh with nine gold and 30
"We believe that fourth place in 2012 is still a realistic target," Clegg