By popular demand, I’m updating the 2012 medal projections, now that the Games are in … two weeks and … yikes, I’d better get moving.
I started by tweaking the only two updates I had made since completing the original projections — athletics (track and field) and archery. That brings us up to one I hadn’t touched in a while — badminton.
Here’s the original post. Onward we go, relying heavily on the current rankings (nicely compiled on one page) and the 2011 World Championships, held in London. Projections are in italic; changes from original projections are in bold italic.
Men’s singles: China’s Lin Dan and Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei keep passing the top ranking back and forth, with Lin winning an epic final in 2011 to match their 1-2 finish in Beijing. Get the feeling everyone else is battling for third? China’s Chen Long and Chen Jin are next, then the top European, Denmark’s Peter Gade. Chen Jin and Gade split third place in Worlds. Was CHN, MAS, INA; now China, Malaysia, Denmark.
Men’s doubles: Another case of the top ranking being passed between two parties — China’s multiple-time world champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng, and South Korea’s Jae-Sung Jung and Yong-Dae Lee. Another South Korean duo, Sung Hyun Ko and Yeon Seong Yoo, rank fourth behind Denmark’s Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen. The USA has an entry here — 2005 world champions Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan. Was KOR, DEN, CHN; now China, South Korea, Denmark.
Women’s singles: The bad news for China — they can only send three players, and the top four in the world are Chinese. The three making the trip are Wang Yihan, Wang Xin and Wang Shixian. (Not enough players named Wang? The U.S. entry is Rena Wang.) Still, a couple of players prevented a sweep at Worlds, where they hand out four medals — Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Shao-chieh took second behind Yihan, and Germany’s Juliane Schenk shared third with Xin. Schenk is still the top-ranked European (sixth), just ahead of Denmark’s Tine Baun (seventh). India’s Saina Nehwal is between the Chinese pair and the Europeans. Was CHN, DEN, CHN; now China, China, Germany.
Women’s doubles: The top two, by a very wide margin, are Chinese: Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang and Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei. That’s how they finished at Worlds. Then South Korea’s Jung-Eun Ha and Min-Jung Kim have a bit of a lead for third place — especially because China can only send two teams, so the fourth-ranked team is out. Japan has the next team on the list (Mizuku Fujii/Reika Kakiiwa) as well as a third-place team from Worlds (Miyuki Maeda/Satoko Suetsuna). The other third-place team, India’s Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa, is far down the list. Was TPE, CHN, JPN; now China, China, Japan.
Mixed doubles: The top team and world champions are China’s Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei. The second-ranked team, by a close margin, is China’s Xu Chen and Ma Jin, but they took third in Worlds behind Britain’s Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier. The host nation’s hopefuls have tumbled down the rankings, though, with two Danish teams ahead of them in Europe. Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen hold third by a slim margin over Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, who joined Xu/Ma in third at Worlds. Was CHN, DEN, GBR; now China, Denmark, China