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India may win 10 medals at Athens

Source: PTI
August 09, 2004 17:11 IST
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It might sound incredible but India could end up winning as many as 10 medals in the Athens Olympics if a new study by economists at PricewaterhouseCoopers is to be believed.

The Indians managed only one bronze medal in the previous edition at Sydney, but the analysis, which takes into account factors like population, average income levels, whether the country is the host nation and whether it was previously a part of the Soviet Bloc, predicts an unprecedented haul for the country.

A similar study was done at the time of Sydney Olympics in 2000 which analysed how medal performance was related to economic and political factors.

"Macroeconomics team of PwC (UK) has conducted the new study, which is an updated version of the one PwC published in 2000 that analysed how medal performance at the Sydney Olympics was related to economic and political factors," said a press release from the company.

"We have extended the research to include data on medal performance from the four Olympics since 1988 in order to produce some benchmarks against which performance at the Athens can be judged," it said.

The study says larger and wealthier countries do better but the effects do not seem to be fully proportional -- relative to their size, many small countries do very well.

The model also seeks to explain the dichotomy between nations like China and India -- the two countries with the largest population in the world but having diverse results in Olympics. China won 59 medals in Sydney as compared to the one by India.

"Our model can explain some of this divergence, but still suggest that India is a significant underperformer with a model target of 10 medals for Athens.

"Indian sports tends to be focussed on events that are not included in the Olympics, such as cricket, which is not an Olympic sport, may attract potential stars away from athletics and other Olympic events in India," says the study.

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