On July 26, one year before the start of the Olympic Games, Gracenote looked into his crystal ball.
The statistics agency bases the virtual medal table on all available data from major competitions, such as past Olympic Games, World Cups and World Cups.
The Belgian weather forecast looked particularly favorable this summer. With a 20th place and 13 medals, a record harvest was predicted for our country.
Gold (4) was virtually presented to Nafi Thiam, Remco Evenepoel (time trial), Lotte Kopecky (road trial) and Lotte Kopecky and Shari Bossuyt (team race).
The last gold medal was already highly doubtful due to the doping case surrounding Bossuyt and those doubts have not been dispelled.
Silver (5) could end up in the basket of the Belgian Tornados, Nina Derwael, the Red Lions, Matthias Casse and Emma Plasschaert.
Bronze (4) went to Wout van Aert (road race), eventing, jumping and Sarah Chaari in taekwondo.
From 4 times gold, 5 times silver and 4 times bronze at the end of July it goes to 3 times gold, 4 times silver and 3 times bronze at the beginning of November.
The potential harvest therefore shrinks from 13 medals to 10 medals, Belgium drops on the ladder from place 20 to place 27.
Which athletes may have lost faith in a medal?
Nina Derwael is out of action and still has to qualify for Paris, which will not be a piece of cake given the injury burden and the qualification process.
Nafi Thiam missed last summer’s World Cup due to injury and the competition in the heptathlon is fierce.
The Athletics World Championships were a letdown for the Belgian Tornados. The relay team seemed to be guaranteed a great performance, but this time in Budapest they did not even make it through the heats.
Remco Evenepoel has an extra rival in time trial with youngster Joshua Tarling and – as already mentioned – storm clouds are still hanging over Shari Bossuyt’s participation in Paris.