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We all know that when it comes to winning medals at Olympic Games the three big nations of USA, Russia, and China have unparalleled success when they are compared to the other countries. However, almost in all recent Olympic Games, nations such as the UK, Germany, France, and Australia have been hot on the trail of the big three.
In fact, the list of medals won by Australian sportsmen and sportswomen, especially in the Olympic games in Sydney and Athens, is as long and as varied as the bonuses on offer at http://www.pureplaytech.org. And trust us there are a lot of bonuses there.
It has to be said however, that the Australian medals tally has dropped slightly at recent Olympics, and that they haven't managed to change the downward trend which has started after the hosting of the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and after the Olympic games have returned to their spiritual home in Athens in 2004.
But if Australian athletes' current performances are anything to go by, Australians may get something to cheer about, and Rio might be remembered much more fondly medal wise. In fact, according to the Australian Olympic Committee and their analysis of the form of its competitors, Australia will win 37 medals in Rio, out of which 13 will be gold. This should rank them seventh, just behind Germany, Japan, and France.
This is much better than the number of medals which Australians collected in London in 2012, which in all honesty was a disappointing performance with only 7 gold, 16 silver, and 12 bronze medals. However, the total number of medals predicted (37) is lower than the number that Australia won in the Olympics in Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, and Beijing.
In terms of which sports and disciplines will yield gold medals to Australians, it's safe to say that swimming will top the charts. According to the prediction made by the AOC, 7 gold medals will go to swimmers such as Mitch Larkin (100 metres and 200 metres backstroke), Bronte Campbell (50 metres and 100 metres freestyle), Emily Seebohm (100 metres and 200 metres backstroke), and to the women's 4x100m freestyle relay.
Swimming will be followed by track cycling, in which Anna Meares, Annette Edmondson, and the women's pursuit team will be the favourites for the gold when they start their respective competitions.
Two more gold medals are expected from Matthew Belcher and Will Ryan, who are competing in sailing, and from Kim Crow, who will be the favourite in rowing. The list of gold medal winners is rounded up with Australia men's hockey team, who are hotly tipped for the pedestal in Rio.
It's unfortunate that to this list of gold medal winners we couldn't add the name of the defending Olympic 100 metres hurdles champion, Sally Pearson, who suffered a horrific injury and had a massive dislocation of her wrist and fractured her ulna in two places when she fell during a race in the Diamond League last year. She will most likely be back for the Olympics in Rio, but it's highly unlikely that she'll be on the pedestal, and let alone be the winner of the 100 metres hurdles race.
All in all, Australians should be reasonably excited about the upcoming Olympic Games in Brazil's largest city, however, they should be careful not to raise their hopes too high, since this might hamper their chances and put the weight of expectations of a whole nation on their athletes' shoulders. And this has never ended well.
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