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Who’s up and who’s down on the Olympic medal table?

Britain's gold medallist Alistair Brownlee (C), his brother, bronze medallist Jonathan Brownlee and silver medallist Spain's Javier Gomez (L) pose after the men's triathlon final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Hyde Park August 7, 2012.


Well, there are only four days left at the Games, and at this moment, Canada sits 12th in total medals with 14.

With roughly one-quarter of the medals still to be given out, Canadian athletes are on pace to finish with about the same 18 medals they won in Beijing (albeit with one or two fewer golds).

That kind of consistency isn't the case everywhere though.

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Some countries are on pace for huge gains in the medal table, led by the hosts. Others are set to drop dramatically, for their own individual reasons.

The biggest gainers

The country on pace for the highest rise in its medal count over Beijing is Great Britain, which has already won 48 medals – one more than four years ago.

They're also guaranteed a handful more in boxing, with athletes already having moved into the semi-finals or finals. Great Britain has improved its medal totals the most in track and field, boxing, gymnastics, rowing, tennis and triathlon and projects to win as many as 65 medals overall.

They have also won more golds here than in every Games since 1908.

Honourable mentions: Japan (already six more medals than Beijing), Iran (six more), Hungary (on pace to nearly double total), South Africa (have won five compared to one in 2008), Denmark, Colombia

The biggest losers

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Three countries are on pace for huge drops in their medal totals from Beijing: Australia, Ukraine and Cuba.

The Australians have received plenty of coverage for their drop from 46 medals four years ago to just 27 so far in these Games, with the government saying they will hold an independent review after the country's worst medal haul in swimming in two decades.

"Unfortunately it's taken the debacle at London to really highlight the decline of school sport in the Australian educational system," Dr. Steve Georgakis, a senior lecturer in Pedagogy and Sports Studies at the University of Sydney, told the BBC.

The Ukrainian and Cuban drops (currently both are 17 medals below 2008) are a bit harder to analyze, but the decline has not gone unnoticed in those countries.

In Ukraine, government officials are crying foul over several narrowly missed medals that came as the result of disputes and changed decisions in gymnastics, heptathlon and boxing.

"I wish our athletes received their medals," Ukrainian women's handball coach Heorhy Voronov told ForUm. "They deserve it. It is a well-known fact that Ukraine does not have authority at the Olympics. This episode with disqualification and further re-institution seems biased."

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Cuba's decline in track and field, boxing and other combat sports, meanwhile, has hurt their medal hopes. (The addition of women's boxing at the Games won't help either, as the Cuban federation won't allow those fighters to compete.)

Dishonourable mentions: Kenya, Turkey, Spain, Belarus, Norway

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