Jamaica’s global sprint superstar Usain Bolt will have a miserable time at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where he allegedly will fail to defend his 100 meters title. That’s if the predictions of Dutch company Infostrada come to pass.
The statistics firm tracks events around the world in all Olympic sports, then converts those results into a formula to predict who will win each Olympic medal.
At London 2012, Infostrada almost exactly forecasted the British team’s total of 65 medals.
This time around, the latest update of its “virtual medal table” suggests the United States will once again lead the way, ahead of China, while Bolt will miss out on men’s 100 meters gold for the first time since 2004.
According to Simon Gleave, head of analysis at Infostrada Sports, the algorithm predicts that Bolt will finish second behind American Justin Gatlin.
Justin Gatlin, who served a four-year drugs ban between 2006 and 2010, won bronze at London 2012 — where Bolt completed his second successive Olympic treble, winning 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay gold medals.
Bolt meanwhile has dominated the 100m for the better part of a decade, winning the world titles in 2009 and 2013 alongside his two Olympic gold medals. Only in 2011, when he false-started, has he missed out.
Gleave, who revealed the world’s fastest man fell to second in the predictions because of a lack of competition over the past year, also conceded that the 28 year old should, in reality, not be so easily written off – as the data also had Bolt missing out on gold at London 2012 – a prediction that was blown apart in an Olympic record time of 9.63 seconds.
If Bolt competes, as expected, at this summer’s World Championships in Beijing, a gold medal there would be likely to restore his place above Gatlin in the rankings.
“In a way, that’s what makes this nice,” says Gleave, defending the system. “It’s dynamic, it changes all the time.”
“If someone returns to the top, we can watch that happening over the weeks and months before the Olympic Games starts.”