Germany will top the PyeongChang Olympic medal standings if results repeat from this season’s winter sports world championships.
Germans have easily won the most medals (34) and golds (18) in Olympic events across this season’s world championships. A total of 100 of the 102 Olympic events (or their equivalents) have had their world championships contested already this season.
While men’s hockey and mixed doubles curling worlds are still to take place, Germany’s lead is insurmountable.
The medal standings:
Germany cleaned up in its hallmark sliding sports, winning seven gold medals in 10 events at bobsled, luge and skeleton world championships (aided significantly by hosting bobsled and skeleton worlds). It also earned seven of 11 golds at biathlon worlds and swept the three Nordic combined gold medals.
Germany topped the Winter Olympic medal standings in 1998, 2002 and 2006. It slipped to second behind the U.S. at Vancouver 2010.
In Sochi, Germany fell all the way down to sixth in total medals with 19, its fewest since reuniting East and West Germany at the Olympics 25 years ago.
The U.S. is likely to finish second in the world championships medal table, setting up well to repeat its second-place finish in the Sochi Olympic medal standings next year.
The Americans excelled in a number of sports this season. They range from the traditional strengths — freestyle skiing and snowboarding — to events with no Olympic medal history — biathlon and women’s cross-country skiing.
Russia, embroiled in a doping scandal, is not looking like the power that topped the Sochi standings with 33 medals and 13 golds. This winter, Russians have earned just four gold medals and rank seventh in total medals.
Russia finished sixth, fifth and sixth in total medals in the three Winter Games before Sochi. It appears likely to revert toward those places in PyeongChang, assuming it is able to send a full delegation.
Meanwhile, Olympic host country South Korea has earned eight medals this season, all in short- and long-track speed skating. That’s good for 13th place, which would match its output in Sochi.
South Korean athletes will undoubtedly receive a home-field advantage next February, likely resulting in a medal boost since most world championships were held in Europe.
They better. South Korean sports officials have repeated that the 2018 Olympic medal target is 20 overall, with eight gold, more than double the totals from this world championships season.
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