Team Korea aims to finish inside the top 10 at the 2012 London Olympics, which is just 29 days away, by winning at least 10 gold medals. But how likely is it to achieve its goal according to a computer-based analysis?
The online edition of USA Today issues a monthly prediction of the London Olympics "Medal Tracker," which was developed by sports stats company Infostrada Sports Group.
The tracker bases its predictions on the world rankings and recent performances of athletes from each country. It most recently predicted that Korea will finish in 10th place with 10 gold, three silver, and 14 bronze medals. This chimes perfectly with Korea's stated target.
Medal Tracker calculates all the medals won, a system used by major U.S. media such as CNN and USA Today. However, if only gold medals are taken into account, which is how countries including Korea, Japan and the U.K. decide the final tally, Korea would finish ninth in London.
Moreover, as the Olympic Games are fast-approaching, Korea's predicted ranking is rising. Medal Tracker expected the country to win just four gold, seven silver, and 13 bronze medals last September. In January, it predicted Korea would finish 11th in the "rank-by-gold" system with eight gold, three silver, and 14 bronze medals.
Medal Tracker and Team Korea have come up with a similar list of gold medal contenders. Swimmer Park Tae-hwan, shooter Jin Jong-oh, judoka Kim Jae-bum, taekwondo star Cha Dong-min, and Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung in men's doubles badminton have been consistently touted as likely gold medalists by Medal Tracker since last year. The men's and women's archery teams, boxer Shin Jong-hoon, female taekwondo athlete Hwang Kyung-seon, and judoka Wang Ki-chun have emerged as gold medal contenders as the games approach.