This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports’ every day e-mail publication. Stay on top of things on what’s occurring on the Tokyo Olympics by subscribing right here.
Quick notice earlier than we get began: from now by the closing ceremony on Aug. 8, the Buzzer might be devoted completely to the Tokyo Olympics. Seven days every week, you will get information, perception and evaluation on the most important tales from the Games, in addition to recommendations on who and what to look at to assist information your TV and live-stream viewing. For all of your non-Olympic sports activities information, together with the most recent from a busy NHL low season, go to CBCSports.ca.
OK, on to the Olympic stuff:
How many medals will Canada win? It’s extra-hard to say this time
Even in the very best of occasions, predicting Olympic medals is an inexact science. And the Tokyo Games are usually not happening in the very best of occasions. A once-in-a-century international pandemic brought about the cancellation of numerous world championships, World Cups and different main occasions over the previous 12 months and a half or so, rendering many Olympic athletes unable to compete — and even practice correctly — for an extended stretch of time. International competitors regained some normalcy over the previous few months, however issues remained spotty amid all of the journey restrictions, security considerations and different complications concerned with attempting to play sports activities throughout a worldwide well being disaster.
All this has been powerful on the athletes — clearly. And it is also made issues tougher for forecasters like Gracenote, a knowledge firm that initiatives the medal winners for each occasion within the Olympics based mostly on outcomes from “key global and continental competitions” for the reason that final Summer Games. With these competitions briefly provide, Gracenote calls the Tokyo Olympics even “more unpredictable than normal.”
The largest black field is China, which has largely stayed away from worldwide competitors for the reason that begin of the pandemic. Gracenote says that almost 80 per cent of the Chinese athletes its mannequin ranks within the prime eight of their occasions haven’t produced any leads to the final 12 months and a half. Still, China is projected to complete second within the medal standings with 33 gold (seven behind the United States) and third within the whole rely with 66 (the U.S. is projected for 96, and the Russian staff is second at 68). But the system might be underrating China’s podium probabilities. “No other top nation has so much missing information,” says Simon Gleave, the Head of Analytics for Gracenote Sports.
Find stay streams, must-watch video highlights, breaking information and extra in a single excellent Olympic Games bundle. Following Team Canada has by no means been simpler or extra thrilling.
Despite all these caveats, it is nonetheless enjoyable to dive into the projections for an concept of what to anticipate and who to look at over the subsequent 17 days in Tokyo. Here are probably the most fascinating issues the Gracenote mannequin predicts for Canada, together with some locations the place I feel it is perhaps a bit off:
Canada’s projected medal rely appears very acquainted. The mannequin likes Canada to win 21 medals. That’s one decrease than its whole from the 2016 Games in Rio, however one increased than its common over the previous three Summer Games. Meanwhile, Canadians are projected to win 4 gold medals — the identical quantity they took residence from Rio. Gracenote’s mannequin initiatives Damian Warner (decathlon), Jessica Klimkait (judo, ladies’s 57kg division), Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay (diving, ladies’s 10m synchronized occasion), and Laurence Vincent Lapointe and Katie Vincent (canoe, ladies doubles occasion) will attain the highest of the rostrum. The betting markets appear to be knowledgeable by Gracenote’s projections, however, for what’s it is value, they’re kind of consistent with the mannequin. The present consensus over/beneath strains for Canada are 4.5 gold medals and 21.5 whole.
More than 80 per cent of Canada’s medals might be gained by ladies, in line with the mannequin. This is definitely down from the eye-popping 95 per cent share it predicted in April, however nonetheless exceptional. Yet not shocking. Women accounted for just below three quarters of Canada’s medals in Rio. Swimming sensation Penny Oleksiak led the best way there with 4 — two particular person, two relay. The Gracenote mannequin has her lacking the rostrum in Tokyo, the place it likes Vincent Lapointe, Benfeito and fellow diver Jennifer Abel to tie for the Canadian lead with a pair of medals every — one solo, one with a associate. Other notable projections for Canadian feminine athletes embrace: Rosie MacLennan falls simply wanting her third consecutive ladies’s trampoline gold medal, taking silver; Ellie Black turns into the primary Canadian lady to win a medal in conventional gymnastics by ending second within the all-around occasion, and 2016 wrestling gold medallist Erica Wiebe additionally lands silver.
A number of locations the place the Canadian projections is perhaps off: On the pessimistic facet, Gracenote’s concern that its mannequin is underestimating Chinese athletes seems to manifest with the Benfeito/McKay gold-medal choose. China just about owns diving: it gained seven of the eight gold medals in Rio, with the boys’s 3m springboard the one miss. Sure sufficient, the betting markets have China’s 10m synchro duo as an enormous favorite. On the optimistic facet, Vincent Lapointe was probably the most dominant ladies’s canoe athlete on the planet for the higher a part of the previous decade, successful half a dozen world titles within the singles 200m occasion, which was simply added to the Olympics. But a optimistic doping take a look at in 2019 (later overturned) took her out of competitors for some time and brought about her to overlook the latest world championships, which might be skewing her projection downward. It’s additionally curious that the mannequin picks Canada to win solely two swimming medals after Canadians racked up eight at the latest world championships. It has two-time and reigning world 100m backstroke champ Kylie Masse settling for silver in her marquee occasion, and reigning 100m butterfly world champ Maggie Mac Neil lacking the rostrum altogether. On the boys’s facet, sprinter Andre De Grasse at all times appears to exceed expectations. He gained three medals in Rio (100, 200 and 4×100) and has by no means missed the rostrum in a person occasion he is entered on the Olympics or world championships. But the mannequin has him leaving Tokyo with only a bronze within the 200.
It’s the calm earlier than the storm
With the stage being set for the opening ceremony, not loads in the best way of competitors is going on tomorrow in Tokyo (that is tonight and tomorrow morning in Canadian time zones). Here are two issues it is best to find out about:
The opening ceremony is tomorrow morning. The present begins Friday at 7 a.m. ET, and stay protection begins at 6:30 a.m. ET on the CBC TV community, CBC Gem, the CBC Olympics app and CBC Sports’ Tokyo 2020 web site. Olympic opening ceremonies have a (deserved) popularity as over-produced, bloated spectacles. But count on a smaller, extra muted show as Japan and the remainder of the world proceed to grapple with the pandemic. Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium might be devoid of followers — if you happen to do not rely the appreciable variety of assorted dignitaries who’re invited. Only 30-40 of Canada’s 371 athletes are anticipated to participate — together with flag-bearers Miranda Ayim (ladies’s basketball) and Nathan Hirayama (males’s rugby sevens). The relaxation are both competing elsewhere in Japan, on the verge of competing or have not arrived but (athletes have been requested to point out up no sooner than 5 days earlier than their occasions). The present has already had its share of controversy. Its director was fired over a Holocaust joke he included in a comedy routine in 1998, a composer resigned over feedback he made again within the ’90s about bullying, and the inventive director stepped down after saying a well-known heavyset Japanese comedienne may carry out as an “Olympig.” Read extra about what to anticipate within the ceremony and methods to watch it right here.
Rowing competitors begins tonight. It’s simply heats on the primary day (medal races do not begin till Monday night time in Canadian time zones), however that is our first take a look at Canada’s largest rowing staff since 1996. Ten Canadian boats (similar as in Atlanta) are entered in numerous occasions. They’re unlikely to match the six medals the ’96 rowers introduced residence, however Canada has a couple of podium contenders. The finest is the ladies’s pair crew of Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens. They gained gold on the 2018 world championships and bronze in ’19 — the final time the worlds have been held. Filmer and Janssens are within the water for his or her warmth on Friday night time. Tonight, the Canadians in motion are Carling Zeeman (ladies’s single sculls), Trevor Jones (males’s single sculls), and Gabrielle Smith and Jessica Sevick (ladies’s double sculls). Heats start at 7:30 p.m. ET and you’ll stream them stay on CBC Gem, the CBC Olympics app and CBC Sports’ Tokyo 2020 web site. Read extra in regards to the Canadian rowing staff’s efforts to rebuild from its humbling one-medal displaying in Rio right here.
Something else to take a look at
The 4% Rising publication. A examine completed a couple of years again discovered that solely 4 per cent of conventional media protection was dedicated to ladies’s sports activities. Hence the title of this article centered on rising the viewers by telling you what, when and the place to look at. Starting Friday, they’re specializing in the ladies’s occasions it is best to catch within the Tokyo Olympics. You can learn the most recent version and subscribe right here.
You’re on top of things. Talk to you tomorrow.