Olympics: We are second in medals table - behind Slovenia

By Brooke Donovan

New Zealand edged closer to the top of the Olympic medal table last night - but Slovenia is the nation to beat.

You didn't read wrong. The United States and China have dozens of gold medals between them, but on the per-capita tally they had better watch out for the tiny sporting powerhouse on the Adriatic Sea.

"Per-capita medal" is the table that puts medal hauls in proportion to population size. Which is a very good thing for countries without the benefit of hundreds of millions of people to pick star athletes from.

The Herald wanted to see if New Zealand hadn't done a little better than its official - and undeniably respectable - 16th-equal overall ranking.

Tom Ashley's gold medal in boardsailing took New Zealand's total medal tally to nine, giving us 2.15 medals per million people.

Slovenia, with five medals and a population of just 2.02 million, towers over the Olympic big hitters like China, the US and Great Britain - which currently hold the top three spots in the official count.

In the per-capita medal table, Jamaica comes third with 1.78 medals per million people, followed by Australia with 1.69.

Primoz Kozmus won Slovenia's first-ever track and field gold for his hammer throw, adding to silver medals picked up in the women's 200m freestyle and Laser sailing, and bronze in the women's judo and men's rifle 3 shooting.

- NZ Herald

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