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Page last updated at 08:46 GMT, Wednesday, 25 July 2012 09:46 UK

Forecasting the ranking of Olympic nations

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As the Olympics open on Friday, we all know that a competitor from China stands a better chance of taking a medal than an athlete from Chad, but how about a model that quantifies those assumptions, providing detailed national rankings even before the games begin?

US economics professor Dan Johnson, who has ranked Olympic nations from 1 to 130, told Philippa Thomas that his original model of prediction, which he claims is 97% accurate, looked at whether there are things that a nation might have or lack that would serve as good predictors of Olympic medal success and "that wouldn't involve us knowing anything about the athletes themselves".


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