Countdown to August. We Aussies go to China to take on a fully-fit Chinese team. Australia had a great year in Athens four years ago but will they be able to keep up the same reputation? I'll leave that to you to discuss. But first I'll predict the Games for you and show you last time.
ATHENS OLYMPIC GAMES
|1||UNITED STATES OF AMERICA||36||39||27||102|
|2||PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA||32||17||14||63|
|4||COMMONWEATH OF AUSTRALIA||17||16||16||49|
|5||REPUBLIC OF JAPAN||16||9||12||37|
|7||REPUBLIC OF FRANCE||11||9||13||33|
|10||UNITED KINGDOM OF BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND||9||9||12||30|
BEIJING OLYMPIC GAMES
CHINA: Last time: Were patchy with their achievements, despite taking out a massive 32 gold medals however showed no interest in a top 3 score other than #1. On a whole surprised the crowd however the army of the world's best athletes scored a safe second place. China's main concern is the fact that they won just a few medals yet crawled so high. This time: In front of a home crowd only the USA, Russia, China and Australia should worry China. Could easily come first and will be stopped only by countries in Asia. China's weakest sports are weightlifting, Boxing and field events. If Italy continues their run in soccer then the hosts can hope only for a bronze. Will scrape home by an inch to win the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
AUSTRALIA: Last time: Came fourth because someone had to. Honestly boys! No-one went near them; they came close to no-one. They only had Japan company on the scoreboard. Sure, coming home with 49 medals, 17 of them gold must have made a heavy suitcase but still it was an average fourth. Although, how good the position was doesn’t matter, just the position. But we must consider the future. This time: Beijing sounds almost as good as Sydney. Let's beat across the seas across the seas. Hit 'em hard Aussies, hit 'em hard. We'll come into Beijing better and ready to win more gold medals. Japan will be a much bigger worry but us green and golds will come fourth with a fight this time. Go Go Go!
USA: Last time: Dominated the games, not only coming first in gold medals but silver as well, finishing second in bronze and winning 20 more medals than third, 39 more than second and 53 more than fourth. Were unstoppable. This time: Will keep up the same brilliance but fall short of last time's win. Should take out the most medals if Russia performs as expected and doesn’t quite win. Will come second to fifth. America's largest threats are Asian countries such as North and South Korea, Japan and Russia. Australia and Greece should step forward.
BRAZIL: Last time: Came 16th winning 5 gold medals, 2 silvers and 3 bronze medals. Their strongest point was soccer. They dominated in little but held their ground. Could have played a little better in their peak. This time: Should not change positions, the 14th to 19th will remain Brazil's territory for a few years to come. Need to do more hard work. Will finish on the same mark with 4 gold medals, 3 silvers and 2 bronzes. There is a chance they could win over ten medals but that is unlikely.
CANADA: Last time: Although Canada is a major western country, is rich and has good training facilities they failed to make the top 20. Winning 12 medals, 6 of them silver Canada had a set of games like Spain had. Their neighbours cruised into first place, Australia and Britain kept to their averages, if not wavering off a little. But Canada is setting a lowly example for a country of its kind. This time: It was easy to criticize Canada after 2004 but '08 is a different story. If Canada can pick up another two golds and gain a bronze they would be unstoppable against other teams on 5 majors. With a massive year ahead of them, Canada will struggle however they may just creep into the top fifteen. It's an unknown.
CUBA: Last time: Last Olympic Games Cuba had a wonderful time, stacking on 9 gold medals while other countries who seemed a lot stronger took out 3-6. The small Carribean isle has proven to have some of the world's greatest athletes- the win over Germany in volleyball is just an example. Cuba only just missed out on the top ten along with the USA, China, Russia and Germany. This time: To charge into fame! With South Korea's year coming up the ten will be reshuffled. Then in will come Cuba! They will really have to fight but should slide in for tenth if they have a good year. Look forwards to Beijing, Cuba fans!
DPRK: Last time: Came 57th overall, heading the list of those on zero gold medals. Although it looks like they did badly they were competing in Greece for the first time and defeated countries like India, Mexico and Finland. This time: Expect the DPRK to do better, perhaps come between 40th and 50th. They have a good chance for Beijing.
FRANCE: Last time: France did well, coming first in eleven of the events. They took 33 medals with them, proud to have scored so high. They dominated in both individual and team sports, defeated some of the greats and overall shocked the audience with their fair, brilliant play. This time: Should drop back a little in the gold medal count and on the scoreboard, but lose no more medals. Could star and come 7th if South Korea weren't playing in China. France's huge chances will be smothered by a huge Chinese crowd. However this will not cut down all of their good play. Prediction: 7th- 10th.
GERMANY: Last time: Germany fully enjoyed its series, winning 13 gold medals (6th most) and 49 altogether (equal 4th most). They excelled in almost everything, winning more bronzes and silvers than golds. This time: In the Winter Olympic Games Germany came first by 2 gold medals, far ahead of the USA, Austria& Russia. The same year they hosted the Soccer World cup. Germany's brilliant 2006 will provide huge momentum for achievements in '08. They should fire forward, gaining medals in each category. If they keep up the same standard then they will be one of the toughest to beat in the coming Olympic Games.
GREECE: Last time: They were the hosts of the Olympics yet failed to make an imprint. Winning just 14 medals and coming fifteenth overall was an embarrassment for the side who won almost every Games eighty years ago. '04 was not a better year for the Greeks, in fact, they played a lot worse. If they had gained 4 more gold medals they would have made the top 10 without a doubt. Perhaps one of the worst performances by a hosting country. This time: Whether Greece will do better or worse is hard to tell. But there will be a change. Strong in archery and soccer, Greece should do slightly better. They will put up a fight but will probably not make the top ten. 4-7 gold medals.
HOLLAND: Last time: Holland had a remarkably strong Olympic Games last time; although they only won 4 gold medals they got 9 of both silver and bronze. They were the real tryers and didn't get that far off a big score. They did well in both field and track, taking on people much bigger than themselves. They ought to be proud of themselves. This time: Should advance one more step and take another gold medal. Ignore the scoreboard; Holland will be right in the action. Sixteenth would be a good prediction. Don't write off the Netherlands in 2008
HUNGARY: Last time: Came 13th and deserved every bit of it. Hungary had the power to not only snatch 8 gold medals but overpower competitors on the same ground. Only just missed out on the top 10 but would have made it with another 4 silvers and 1 gold. They were hungry for world fame and ripped through everything to grab it. This time: No problems. Should stick to 12th or 13th along with Ukraine. Will take seven or eight majors and finish with about eighteen medals. Put Hungary #12 on your betting sheet. They'll get there.
ITALY: Last time: Someone who made and deserved the top 10. Italy bounced into 8th position winning ten gold medals and 32 overall. It's surprising that a score so big can happen! Nothing stood in their way in 2004, one of the things that helped them so much in the Turino Olympics. This time: Italy will make exactly the same impression, if not a little bigger. Their total medals will not change much however the quality of them will. No more bronzes! Raise your glasses, Italians and enjoy Beijing!
JAPAN: Last time: Last Olympic Games Japan won a lot of medals and their accurate winning helped them gain fifth place on the table. Nothing was there to stop the Japs in Athens and they took advantage of it. Sixteen gold medals and improving, thank you! This time: Playing near their home country will be all but a disadvantage for Japan. They will surge forward along with China and Russia. Expect Japan to gain on Australia but not pass them. More golds, more silvers, more bronzes are heading the way of the Japanese.
NORWAY: Last time: A side which most people write off early, Norway proved to be one of the top twenty best countries at sport in 2004. Taking with them 5 gold medals, unfortunately no silvers and one bronze Norway perfected the year. Finishing ahead of all Scandinavian rivals, Sweden 4/2/1, Denmark 2/0/6 and Finland 0/2/0. Norway were the biggest fishes in '04. This time: Not much to say. It was all said in 2004. Expect Norway to keep up the same stuff. Not a worry from any other Scandinavians. Will be the best and most courageous in 2008.
NZ: Last time: Read the article on Canada. New Zealand did equally as well. It just goes to show- if there was a Southern Hemisphere Games Australia would pick up 140 gold medals. New Zealand did okay but more should be expected of them. Our little neighbours still got three golds, though. This time: Let's hope it's a bit better!!! New Zealand will stick around the 25 mark. To collect about the same. Won't set a bad example though. Keep it up, if you can. They can still keep their heads up high. Xinxilan, Zhayou!
ROMANIA: Last time: In 2004, Romania impressed fans, coming 14th behind Hungary. They took 19 medals with them, 8 of those gold. They enjoyed their time competing and set a mark for the future. Athens was like a home ground. This time: All words spoken about Romania in Athens were good but how will they fare away from their neighbours? Romanians will still be partying after the performance although was it genuine? The games have never been held in Romania so Greece is as good as it gets. They will try hard however the fairytale finish will not come like it did before. 14th to 17th.
S. KOREA: Last time: Did exceptionally well, finishing ninth overall. Winning an amazing 30 medals, South Korea excelled in many sports that other Asian countries did not. Set a moral example to all countries. This time: Beijing 2008 will be like Seoul 1988, just 20 years later. Expect South Korea to put up a bigger fight and come sixth to eighth. Sould win around 11 gold medals.
SPAIN: Last time: Spain came twentieth winning 3 golds, a whopping eleven silvers and 5 bronzes. They were not scarce in their acheivements but in their overall score. Their scoreboard positioning was embarrassing however they contested a lot more than records suggest. This time: With hopeful comments last time be sure to expect some this time. Spain will be bright and excited throughout the period of the games. Should hang around the same area but improve in the long run. Will be a tight competition but Spain will do well.
UK: Last time: The UK's last Games went very well with them taking 30 medals away. This news was made better with the securing of the London Olympics in 2012. As their performances have never been brilliant the UK are proud to make it so high. This time: Should drop back a little in Asia, perhaps 1 less gold. The UK will be good but not excellent enough for them to do really well. Tenth to twelfth.
|1||PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA||39||20||18||77|
|3||UNITED STATES OF AMERICA||34||29||28||91|
|4||COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA||20||18||17||55|
|5||REPUBLIC OF JAPAN||19||16||16||51|
|9||REPUBLIC OF FRANCE||10||11||12||33|
The 5 best didn't really work out. You've now got 'til the end of April