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Australia set for biggest Olympic gold medal haul since Beijing

July 22, 2021 7:00PM News Corp Australia Network

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Australia is tipped to win 16 gold medals and 40 medals overall at the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Getty Images media_cameraAustralia is tipped to win 16 gold medals and 40 medals overall at the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Getty Images


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Australia is set to bounce back up the medal tally leaderboard in Tokyo.

At least that’s the prediction of global entertainment data and technology company Gracenote, which has released its final virtual* medal table.

It believes Australia will win 16 gold medals and 40 medals overall.

If these lofty* expectations are achieved, it will be the most gold medals Australia has won since Beijing in 2008 and the best overall result since Athens in 2004.

The Gracenote prediction has Australia finishing sixth on the gold medal table and ninth for total medals: gold, silver and bronze.

The high number of gold medals predicted relies heavily on our swimming team, which is brimming* with young talent, performing well in the pool.

Kaylee media_cameraSwimmer Kaylee McKeown is tipped to be one of the golden stars of Australia’s Olympic team in Tokyo. Picture Lachie Millard

Gracenote predicts rising star Kaylee McKeown will win three gold medals and Cate Campbell, Emma McKeon, Ariarne Titmus and Elijah Winnington will each come away with an individual gold medal.

A haul* of 16 gold would double our disappointing gold medal tally of eight in Rio in 2016.

At the same time, arch rival* Great Britain is tipped to slide from 27 gold in Rio to 14 in Tokyo due to an expected decline in cycling and athletics results.

Australia and Great Britain are two of only four nations to contest every modern Games and have a fierce rivalry.

Olympics Swim media_cameraElijah Winnington is also predicted to take gold for Australia at the Tokyo Games. Picture: Adam Head

Gracenote expects the USA to finish on top of the gold medal table with 40 victories, followed by China (33), Japan (26) Russia (21) and the Netherlands joining Australia on 16.

On the full medal table, the USA is again expected to take top spot, with 96 medals. Russia is tipped to be second (68), followed by China (66), Japan (60) and Great Britain (52).

Here is the breakdown of Australia’s expected gold medallists.


Winning athletes will put medals around their own necks to protect against spreading the coronavirus at the Tokyo Olympics.

The “very significant change” to traditional medal ceremonies has been revealed by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

“The medals will not be given around the neck,” Mr Bach said.

“They will be presented to the athlete on a tray and then the athlete will take the medal him or herself.

“It will be made sure that the person who will put the medal on the tray will do so only with disinfected* gloves, so that the athlete can be sure that nobody touched them before.”

Tokyo 2020 Unveils Victory Ceremony Podium, Costume, Music and Medal Tray media_cameraThe medals will be presented on a tray and winners will need to hang them around their own neck to protect against spreading of Covid-19 at the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Getty Images

Mr Bach said the Covid-safe approach to medal presentations for the 339 events at the Tokyo Games also meant “there will be no handshakes and there will be no hugs during the ceremony”.

Olympic medals are typically presented by an IOC member or a leading official in a sport’s governing body.

The IOC has previously said medallists and ceremony officials will have to wear masks during medal presentations.

Spectators are also banned from attending events, but crowd noise recorded at previous Olympics will be played at stadiums and venues to create some atmosphere and support the athletes.

Some athletes will also be connected via screens to their families, friends and fans after their events, while fans will be able to send video clips that can be displayed next to the field of play.


  • virtual: created by computer but not existing in the physical world
  • lofty: high, big
  • brimming: full, almost overflowing
  • haul: large amount of something that has been won
  • Arch rival: main or traditional rival
  • disinfected: cleaned to destroy germs and Covid-19


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  1. How many gold medals does Gracenote expect Australia to win?
  2. How many medals overall is Australia tipped to win?
  3. Name one of the swimmers expected to win gold?
  4. Which country is expected to top the gold medal and overall medal tables?
  5. Why will crowd noise from past Olympics be played in the stadiums and venues at Tokyo?


1. Work out the numbers
Australia’s predicted gold medal tally becomes even more impressive when you consider it in terms of our relatively small population in comparison to some of the other nations expected to do well. See this for yourself by completing the following in a 4-column table:

In column 1 – List the predicted Top 6 gold medal winning nations
In column 2 – List their predicted number of gold medals
In column 3 – Research and write down the nation’s approximate population (rounded to the nearest 1 million)
In column 4 – Calculate the average population per gold medal by dividing the population by the number of gold medals

Where does Australia now rank in terms of success among the 6 nations listed?

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Mathematics; HASS; Health and Physical Education

2. Extension
Do you think it matters how many medals our Olympic athletes win? Write 2-3 paragraphs explaining your point of view.

Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Ethical Understanding; Health and Physical Education

I’ve always wanted to know
If you had the opportunity to talk to one of the athletes and ask them five questions, what would you ask them?

Come up with five different questions. Challenge yourself to use different question stems (question opener words) to write your questions, and don’t forget to end with a question mark.

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