RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 5 (UPI) — China and the United States are widely favored to lead the field at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
But if you look past sports like table tennis, judo, and archery, the United States should dominate.
In five Olympic competitions, the United States women’s soccer team has won four gold medals and a silver medal.
Coach Jill Ellis brought a juggernaut to Rio. The USWNT has won gold every year that the Olympics has included women’s soccer as a sport, with the exception of a silver medal in 2000. It sports FIFA World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd, superstar scorer Alex Morgan, and one of the world’s top goalies in Hope Solo, to name a few.
The USWNT beat New Zealand 2-0 Wednesday in its Olympic opener. France and host Brazil’s attempts to knockoff the USWNT will likely come up short this summer, per usual.
GOLD: UNITED STATES; SILVER: BRAZIL; BRONZE: FRANCE
Brazil has a huge home-field advantage in the Summer Games. The United States failed to qualify for the Olympics. Brazil has never won an Olympic title in soccer, adding pressure to a hungry fan base. Neymar will return to international tournament play in Rio, after being held out of the Copa America Centenario. Mexico is the defending Olympic champion and should make a strong push for the final.
GOLD: BRAZIL; SILVER: MEXICO; BRONZE: COLUMBIA
Loaded would be an understatement for the U.S. basketball squad. Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green alone could put up a fight against the rest of the world and they are a trio from the same NBA team. Carmelo Anthony, DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan, Kyrie Irving, and other NBA All-Stars just make it flat-out unfair for international opponents.
GOLD: UNITED STATES; SILVER: FRANCE; BRONZE: SPAIN
Elena Delle Donne, Angel McCoughtry, Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Sue Bird, Lindsay Whalen, Tamika Catchings, and Seimone Augustus won’t be denied this summer. The United States women’s basketball roster literally has no weakness. Even its coach, Geno Auriemma, is widely regarded as the best women’s basketball coach of all-time. If the U.S. feels any heat to harm its 40-0 Olympic record since 1996, it would likely come from France or Brazil.
GOLD: UNITED STATES; SILVER: FRANCE; BRONZE: BRAZIL
Sports Illustrated chose Canada’s Brooke Henderson to cash in for gold in women’s golf, followed by New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, and Lexi Thompson, from the United States. Deadspin chose Ko for gold. Look for Ko to keep hold of her No. 1 spot in the Rolex Rankings as the top women’s golfer in the world.
GOLD: LYDIA KO, NEW ZEALAND; SILVER: LEXI THOMPSON, UNITED STATES; BRONZE: BROOKE HENDERSON, CANADA
With the top players in the world dropping out of Olympic competition this summer, few elite players remain. But Bubba Watson shouldn’t fail to disappoint for the United States. Watson and British Open champion Henrik Stenson are the top players playing in Rio, and should fair well over the field. Padraig Harrington and Spain’s Sergio Garcia will look to beat the duo to the medal stand.
GOLD: BUBBA WATSON, UNITED STATES; SILVER: HENRIK STENSON, SWEDEN; BRONZE: SERGIO GARCIA, SPAIN
Men’s and women’s tennis singles could be the easiest gold medal’s to predict for an individual sport. The sport should shine through pretty much scratch when it wraps up in Rio. Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, Great Britain’s Andy Murray, and Spain’s Rafael Nadal should clean up in the medal department after Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka each dropped out of the Summer Games.
GOLD: NOVAK DJOKOVIC, SERBIA; SILVER: ANDY MURRAY, GREAT BRITAIN; BRONZE: RAFAEL NADAL, SPAIN
GOLD: NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND NENAD ZIMONJIC, SERBIA; SILVER: NICHOLAS AND PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT, FRANCE; BRONZE: BOB BRYAN AND MIKE BRYAN, UNITED STATES
Serena Williams should be considered one of the best, if not the best, female athlete of all-time. The world’s No. 1 player should have no problem’s claiming another gold medal for her trophy case. Germany’s Angelique Kerber should make a play for gold, but is not likely to upset Williams.
GOLD: SERENA WILLIAMS, UNITED STATES; SILVER: ANGELIQUE KERBER, GERMANY; BRONZE: GARBINE MUGURUZA, SPAIN
GOLD: GARBINE MUGURUZA AND RAFAEL NADAL, SPAIN; SILVER: KRISTINA MLADENOVIC AND PIERRE-HUGUES-HERBERT
GOLD: CHINA; SILVER: JAPAN; BRONZE: RUSSIA
GOLD: DENG SHUDI, CHINA; SILVER: KOHEL UCHIMURA, JAPAN; BRONZE: MANRIQUE LARDUET, CUBA
GOLD: KENZO SHIRAI, JAPAN; SILVER: MAX WHITLOCK, GREAT BRITAIN; BRONZE: NIKITA NARGONNY, RUSSIA
GOLD: LOUIS SMITH, GREAT BRITAIN; SILVER: MAX WHITLOCK, GREAT BRITAIN; BRONZE: HARUTYUN MERDINYAN, ARMENIA
GOLD: YOU HAO, CHINA; SILVER: ARTHUR ZANETTI, BRAZIL; BRONZE: ELEFTHERIOS PETROUNIAS, GREECE
GOLD: RI-SE-GWANG, NORTH KOREA; SILVER: KRISTIAN THOMAS, BRITAIN
GOLD: DENG SHUDI, CHINA; SILVER: YOU HAO, CHINA; BRONZE: OLEG VENYAYEV, UKRAINE
GOLD: KOHEI UCHIMURA, JAPAN; SILVER: DANELL LEYVA, UNITED STATES; BRONZE: NILE WILSON, GREAT BRITAIN
GOLD: UNITED STATES; SILVER: RUSSIA; BRONZE: CHINA
GOLD: SIMONE BILES, UNITED STATES; SILVER: LAURIE HERNANDEZ, UNITED STATES: BRONZE: ANGELINA MELNIKOVA, RUSSIA
GOLD: SIMONE BILES, UNITED STATES; SILVER: HONG UN-JONG, NORTH KOREA; BRONZE: MARIA PASEKA, RUSSIA
GOLD: MADISON KOCIAN, UNITED STATES; SILVER: DARIA SPIRIDONOVA, RUSSIA; BRONZE: FAN YILIN, CHINA
GOLD: SIMONE BILES, UNITED STATES; SILVER: WANG YAN, CHINA; BRONZE: ANGELINA MELNIKOVA, RUSSIA
GOLD: SIMONE BILES, UNITED STATES; SILVER: ALY RAISMAN, UNITED STATES; BRONZE: SAE MIYAKAWA, JAPAN
GOLD: YANA KUDRYAVTSEVA, RUSSIA; SILVER: MELITINA STANIOUTA, BERLARUS; BRONZE: MARGARITA MAMUN, RUSSIA