Rio stat analysis: Should India focus on fewer sports for more medals?

  • Dipti Jain, Livemint
  • Updated: Aug 24, 2016 11:31 IST
The Rio Games offered more proof that it pays to concentrate on a few sports and host nations show big improvement. (AFP)

Two stories which appeared in Mint (read here and here ) looked at the performance of countries in Olympics and noted some patterns which could explain the results. Better performing countries getting most of their medals in a few sports, larger contingents getting more medals and host countries improving their performances were some of these patterns. Have the Rio Olympics 2016 furthered the trend? Mint looked at a few numbers to provide a snapshot of how countries have performed and the role of certain sports and top athletes in shoring up medal counts.

Most countries win majority of medals in few sports. Of the top 10 highest medal winners this Olympics, Canada achieved over 72% of its total medal haul from four sports—athletics (6), swimming (6), cycling (2) and diving (2). US, with 121 medals, won 77 medals or 63.6% of total from three sports—swimming, athletics and gymnastics. Among the top 10, China had the least skewed medal distribution, with only 34.3% of its medals coming from the top three sports.

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