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By Naturalist Jon on August 22, 2016

One of the most unexpected outcome of anyone in this Olympic is the fact that GB finished second ahead of China, and even for the majority of the 2 week's games.

Britain ended the Rio Games with 27 golds from 15 sports, one ahead of China.

Since the modern Olympic era began in 1896, no country has increased its medal tally at the summer Games immediately following one it hosted.

GB have also smashed their pre-Games target of at least 48 medals, which was set by UK Sport.

That means Rio 2016 is the nation's most successful 'away' Games in history.

China, with a population of 1.357bn to Britain's 64.1m, have amassed more medals (70) than Team GB in Brazil, achieving notable success in table tennis, diving and weightlifting. However, GB are ahead on golds, which is what the rankings are based on.

Asked if the achievements in Rio were better than London 2012, Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, told BBC Sport: "Absolutely. "It is more of a thrill because although we knew we had medal potential, we were not as sure about the environment in which we were competing. "Those of us involved know that there is still a huge amount that can be improved. As we look beyond Rio and on to Tokyo, it is looking really exciting."

UK Sport performance director Simon Timpson insisted the success was "not happening by chance", adding: "This is success by design."

Britain effectively clinched second spot when kayaker Liam Heath, boxer Nicola Adams and runner Mo Farah won their events on Saturday.

Diver Tom Daley was another medal prospect but failed to make the final in the 10m platform diving, which was won by China's Chen Aisen.

Gracenote Sports creates a Virtual Medal Table for the Olympic Games based on data from events with world fields from London 2012 up to Rio 2016.

Its pre-Games predictions were:

  • US - 38 golds, 88 medals in total
  • China - 29 golds, 71 in total
  • GB - 18 golds, 56 medals in total
  • Gracenote's head of analysis, Simon Gleave, told BBC Sport: "The 70 total medals for China and 26 golds came very close to our Virtual Medal Table's pre-Olympic prediction of 71 and 29.

    "However, it is that slight underperformance in gold medals which allowed Great Britain to take second place in the medal table. Initially, it looked as though it would be close for second place, with China just taking it, but the surprise gold medals from Nick Skelton and the women's hockey team made Great Britain the most likely country to finish second. Beating the London total of 65 medals was a realistic possibility once Britain won nine medals on 16 August - the best day's medal haul since Beijing 2008."

    Gleave said Britain had outperformed in track cycling, artistic gymnastics, diving and flat-water canoeing.

    Matt Galligan Congratulations Team GB!


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