(Reuters) – Canada will finish above the United States in the medals table for a second successive Winter Olympics thanks in part to the recent performances of their short track speed skaters, according to the latest projection by Nielsen’s Gracenote.
Canada finished above the United States at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, but have never won more medals than their North American neighbours at successive Winter Olympics.
The Canadians are projected to finish fourth in Beijing next year with 26 medals while the U.S. are forecast to finish fifth with 22 medals, Gracenote said on Wednesday.
Norway, who topped the medals table in Pyeongchang, are forecast to take home 46 medals (22 golds), comfortably pipping the Russian Olympic Committee (11 golds) and Germany (12 golds) to first place in Beijing.
Gracenote used data from past Olympics, World Championships and World Cups to feed a statistical model that predicts the most likely gold, silver and bronze medallists in each event.
The Canadians have benefited the most from relatively new sports at the Games and are projected to take home 17 medals in events that have been added to the Winter Olympics programme since 1992.
Other countries expected to do well in the newer sports are China and South Korea, who are projected to finish 13th and 14th overall, respectively.
The Winter Olympics run from Feb. 4-20.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Rohith Nair)