Medal predictor: Aussies set for Tokyo gold rush
AUSTRALIA'S new generation of wonder women, led by French Open tennis champion Ash Barty and teenage swimming sensation Ariarne Titmus, are set to take us back to the Olympic glory days.
It's been lean pickings for Australia at the last two Olympics but with exactly one year to go before the start of Tokyo 2020, the number crunchers are tipping a massive improvement next year.
Global data giant Gracenote Sports has just released its one-year to go Virtual Medals Table for Tokyo after using complicated algorithms to analyse the results and rankings for competitors in each of the 339 medal events that will be conducted.
And the numbers that were spat out suggest Tokyo will be one of Australia's best-ever Olympic performances with the team predicted to finish in the top six countries in the world with 13 golds and 43 medals in total, almost a 50 per cent improvement on the last Olympics in Rio.
"It is possible that Australia and Great Britain will be in a genuine battle for a top-five spot given the likely decline in British medal totals," Gracenote said.
"Australia has been eclipsed by Great Britain at each of the last two Summer Games and have not finished ahead of them since 2004."
AUSTRALIA'S PREDICTED 2020 GOLD MEDALLISTS
Canoe slalom - Jessica Fox (women's C-1)
Canoe slalom - Jessica Fox (women's K-1)
Road cycling - Rohan Dennis (men's individual time-trial)
Hockey - men
Rowing - men's fours
Rowing - women's fours
Sailing - Mat Belcher/Will Ryan (men's 470)
Sailing - men's laser - Matt Wearn
Surfing - Sally Fitzgibbons (women's shortboard)
Swimming - women's 4x100m freestyle relay
Swimming - mixed 4x100m medley relay
Triathlon - mixed team relay
"Australia's drop in performance at the last two Summer Olympics was mainly due to subpar results in swimming. If Australia is to challenge for a top-five spot on the medal table, success in swimming competitions needs to rise up to the levels achieved from 2000 to 2008."
The great news for Australia is that the Dolphins are looking as strong as ever so are forecast to provide the lion's share of the silverware, with 13 medals, including golds in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay and the mixed freestyle relay.
Those numbers are expected to rise even higher after this week's world championships in South Korea with Titmus leading the next wave that includes Kaylee McKeown and Minna Atherton as well as established stars Cate Campbell, Bronte Campbell, Emma McKeon, Kyle Chalmers and Mitch Larkin.
Although she is ranked N0. 1 in the world, Barty is only tipped to win bronze in Tokyo but she will move higher up the rostrum if her great form continues.
World champion canoeist Jessica Fox is predicted to bag two individual gold medals in the Japanese capital after winning silver and bronze at the last two Olympics.
Tokyo Olympics Medal Predictor
Sally Fitzgibbons is the gold medal favourite for the inaugural women's surfing title despite losing her No.1 ranking on the weekend while Australia are also the top pick for team triathlon.
Road cyclist Rohan Dennis, who mysteriously quit the Tour de France last week, remains the top choice for the men's individual time trial while sailor Matt Wearn is on course to win the men's laser and Mat Belcher and Will Ryan are the projected winners of the men's 470.
The men's hockey team, and both the men's and women's rowing fours, are also being tipped for gold while Australia could win other medals in athletics, basketball, beach volleyball, BMX, track cycling, diving, rugby sevens and skateboarding.
The US is again expected to finish top of the medals table with China a distant second.
The host-nation Japan will be the biggest improvers, rising to 67 medals after finishing with 41 in Rio while Britain will be the biggest losers, dropping almost a third of its medals from 67 to 43.
MEET AUSTRALIA'S GENERATION NEXT
You don't know them now, but you will be shouting their names from the rooftops next year when the stars from the new Olympic sports on the block including sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing make their mark, writes SCOTT GULLAN.
KURTIS MARSCHALL: He was inspired by watching Steve Hooker win Olympic gold in Beijing and now Kurtis Marschall finds himself in a position to do something similar in Tokyo.
Winning pole vault gold at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast was an important step after he'd proven his class by finishing seventh at the 2017 world championships.
The 22-year-old has since joined the world-leading pole vault program at the West Australian Institute of Sport, the same move Hooker made after winning gold at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
BRANDON STARC: No longer just referred to as the younger brother of Test paceman Mitchell, Brandon Starc is star on the international sporting stage in his own right.
Victory at the 2018 Commonwealth Games confirmed his undoubted potential but it was what he did a few months later in Europe which has track and field officials excited about his prospects in Tokyo.
Starc equalled Tim Forsyth's 21-year-old high jump Australian record by leaping 2.36m in Germany, a performance which puts him in the medal picture next year.
KELSEY-LEE BARBER: Has emerged as one of the leading javelin throwers in the world this year.
Barber, 27, won the silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast but then elevated herself with a massive personal best in Lucerne earlier this month.
Her throw of 67.70m moved her to 12th on the all-time list and second on the Oceania all-time list.
CAN I GET A TICKET TO TOKYO OLYMPICS?
With a year to go to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, demand for tickets is breaking records across the world.
Millions of Japanese are clamouring for seats at their home games, and Australia's official ticket provider, CoSport, reports that 96 per cent of tickets available to Australians sold within hours of going on sale on July 10.
If you don't have tickets but want them, that doesn't sound promising. But CoSport spokesman Michael Clyne says ticket inventory can change for reasons such as customers' cards getting rejected, venue seating coming into clearer focus or additional tickets being released.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
The first step is to register your email at CoSport.com as a way of staying up to date with future ticketing developments. Keep checking the website for updates, too.
ANY OTHER OPTIONS?
Yes, CoSport also sells hotel-ticket packages inclusive of accommodations, expert guidance and event tickets. You can self-select available tickets to favourite sports, or rely on CoSport to pre-select events.