The Sochi Network

Boffins: USA to top Sochi medals table, GB gold-less

Shani Davis is one of the USA's multiple medal hopes

The stats boffins have predicted that the United States will finish top of the Sochi Olympics medals table, and that Great Britain will not win a single gold.

Statistics experts Infostrada, who provide most of the numbers you see associated with a variety of sports, generated a predicted outcome for each Winter Olympics event, based on performances in top-class competition since the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

Their model favours recent results, and gives extra points to particularly dominant performances.

As such, the United States are predicted to take home 16 gold medals, with Norway second on 14.

Canada – who topped their home games four years ago – are expected to finish third with 11 golds, and Germany, who were runners up in Vancouver, fourth. Hosts Russia will be a lowly fifth, according to Infostrada.

Britain, meanwhile, are tipped to better their overall 2010 medal haul, but without picking up any golds.

Four years ago Amy Williams was a surprise winner in the skeleton, Britain’s only medal. This time out the Brits are predicted to win an impressive six medals.

But the breakdown for GB would, theoretically, see them win four silvers and two bronze medals. While the overall improvement is in keeping with heightened expectations, the lack of gold medals would be worrying.

These predictions do not tell the whole story though.

For example, Britain’s best gold medal hope is again in the women’s skeleton; Amy Williams may have retired, but Elizabeth Yarnold is the rising star of the sport – indeed, she won the overall World Cup title, and is the FIS world number one.

Yet, despite Yarnold’s antics this year, Infostrada predict world no.2 Noelle Pikus-Pace will take home gold, with Britain’s Shelly Rudman – the world no.3 – getting bronze.

The bookmakers disagree.

Indeed, Yarnold is narrow favourite for gold according to the betting market, while Norway and not the USA should top the overall medals table - some bookies even have Norway at evens to finish on top.

While recent results are given added weight by the stats modellers, it seems the experts favour those who have shone this season.

Bearing this in mind, British fans should hope for at least one gold – and with their snowboarders and freestyle skiers in fine form – there could even be one or two surprises. Lizzie Yarnold has been the stand-out skeleton slider this season

Great Britain’s predicted medallists:

Skeleton (women) – silver (Yarnold) and bronze (Rudman)

Curling (women) – silver

Curling (men) – bronze

Freestyle skiing slopestyle (men) – silver (James Woods)

Short track (women) – silver (Elise Christie)