LONDON – A U.S. study has predicted that Britain will easily beat its goal of winning at least 48 medals including 25 golds at the London Olympics.
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth released a study Monday which calculated that competing on home turf could be worth an additional 15 medals for the British team over the 47 it won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The study's predictions of a possible 62 British medals — giving the host nation the fourth-highest overall medal prediction — are in line with bets being offered by London's usually savvy bookmakers.
Even better for the British athletes, Tuck underestimated the U.K. medal total in 2000, 2004 and 2008. If that trend continues, this year's take could be even higher.
"The host effect is typically an important determinant of total and gold medal counts," according to the study done by Tuck graduate Emily Williams. "The cheering crowds may make the difference in the sprint to the finish, provided the inevitable rain doesn't dampen spirits too much!"
The Tuck study predicts the U.S. will top the medals table with 103 at the London Olympics, followed by China with 94 and Russia with 67 — all fewer than those nations produced in Beijing.
The study based its predictions on economic principles and variables such as income per person, population and prior Olympic success.
Beating the official British medal predictions would be a big boost for UK Sport, which has pumped 312 million ($487.9 million) of National Lottery funding into British Olympic sports since 2008.
Britain also won 50 Olympic-category medals in world championships in 2011.
British athletes are expected to do well in rowing, sailing, cycling and swimming at the London Olympics, which run from July 27 to Aug. 12.