We are launching the Virtual Olympic Games to report on how Team GB would have performed on each day of the Tokyo Games had they gone ahead as planned.
Friday night should have seen the opening ceremony of Tokyo 2020, with our reporters filling these pages with unrivalled coverage from Japan before Saturday’s first day of action.
But although the coronavirus pandemic has forced the Games to be postponed by a year, our readers need not miss out as we will bring day-by-day updates from the Virtual Olympics instead.
Sportsmail has teamed up with Gracenote, a Nielsen company, who are using their sophisticated statistical model to predict the result from every event of Tokyo 2020 as it would have happened. We can then tell you how Britain’s Olympians would have performed on each day — and you can track Team GB’s progress in our daily medal table.
Gracenote’s number-crunchers make predictions by taking in the results of nearly 10,000 events across all 33 Olympic sports and are trusted to supply data to 25 countries, including most leading Olympic nations.
They first used their statistical model for London 2012 and predicted Team GB would win 67 medals — just two more than the actual haul of 65.
Simon Gleave, Gracenote’s head of sports analysis, told Sportsmail: ‘We collect data on events happening in the period in between Olympics, including things like World Championships, World Cups and Grands Prix. After an event, we give points to the top eight based on where they finish. Those points are weighted based on how important that event was and how long out from the Olympics it took place.
‘We take into account situations where a winner is a long way ahead of second, or second is a long away ahead of third, etc. If you dominate a sport, you are given that credit in the model.
‘Because some athletes take part in more events than others, we cap it as the best 10 performances per person.
‘For each Olympic event, we are then able to give a ranking for each person and can assign medals. In addition, we factor in home advantage. This is the most sophisticated model in our history. Some sports are more unpredictable than others but I don’t think we could do much better than the way we do it.’
At Rio 2016, Great Britain won 27 golds and finished second in the table. Read Monday’s Sportsmail to find out how we would have fared over the first two days in Tokyo.
Gracenote is the world’s leading video, music and sports data company. Gracenote’s global sports data offering provides unmatched global reach and sports coverage, world-class editorial content and rich imagery, robust score, standing and schedule data as well as flexible data delivery and customisation capabilities.