By Karolos Grohmann

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Germany will most likely miss out on their medals target at the Rio Olympics after a disappointing first half to the Games, team officials said on Sunday.

The Germans, among the top nations in the overall rankings of medals and golds in the history of the Games, initially set a target of 42-71 medals at the first Olympics in South America.

Officials had said reaching the London 2012 tally of 44 was their main aim but athletes have so far managed 16 medals, eight of them gold, with just over seven days of competition left.

"At the moment, the situation is that it seems we will not meet the medal goal of 44," Dirk Schimmelpfennig, director of sports at the German Olympic Sports confederation told reporters.

Germany are fourth in the overall ranking based on gold medals in Rio but Schimmelpfennig said that was also likely to change. The Germans won the most medals in shooting, with four in total and three of them gold.

"We now have 16 medals after 139 competitions out of the 306," he said. "Looking at the gold medals, we have more than we had in London and I think with eight gold medals already we have a chance to reach the goal of 11 gold medals in the second half of the Olympic games."

However, so far the team has not delivered as expected in several sports, including fencing and swimming, where the Germans have not won a single medal.

"We will not let ourselves be dazzled by the fact that we were number four in the medals table last night, which is down to the many gold medals, but we are also saying we are very proud that we have already won eight gold medals. We think we will win more gold medals," Schimmelpfennig added.

(Additional reporting by Reuters Television; editing by Ken Ferris)