Brazil lowers Olympic medal target to reach top 10 in Rio

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The Brazil Olympic Committee’s goal is for the host nation to finish in the top 10 of the overall medal standings in Rio, so it hopes to earn 23 or 24 medals, an official said Tuesday.

That’s a lower estimate than in July 2014, when the same Brazilian Olympic official cited a goal of 27 to 30 medals. The goal of finishing in the top 10 of the medal standings remains the same.

In 2012, the 10th-place nation earned 28 medals. In 2008, the 10th-place nation earned 27 medals.

But Marcus Vinicius Freire, the executive director of sport for the Brazilian Olympic Committee, believes 23 or 24 medals could get Brazil into the top 10 in August.

“The number of medals for us is wherever the top 10 are,” Freire told Brazilian media, according to a translation. “There is a tendency for a larger distribution of medals [than previous years] for the first eight [nations], who win a little more and taking [from] the bottom two. So 10th place would be 23, 24 [in Rio].”

Freire may believe world powers such as the U.S. and China will take a greater share of the medals than in 2012 or 2008, but recent history shows that 23 or 24 medals would not place in the top 10.

It hasn’t happened since Atlanta 1996, when there were 35 fewer medal events than there will be in Rio in August.

Brazil earned at least 10 medals at the last five Summer Olympics after never winning more than eight before that. It reached its peak at London 2012 with 17 medals.

An increase of six or seven medals from four years ago would be a similar percentage increase as Great Britain from 2008 to 2012. The British earned 47 medals in 2008 and then 65 when they hosted in 2012.

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