SEOUL Norway is expected to return to the top of the medals table for the first time in 16 years at the 2018 Winter Olympics, while host country South Korea is set to tie its record gold medal haul with six titles, sports data firm Gracenote has projected.
California-based Gracenote Sports put Germany second in its 'Virtual Medal Table" for the Games, scheduled for Feb. 9-25 next year in the South Korean alpine town of Pyeongchang, ahead of the United States in third.
The data analysis firm forecast Norway to win 15 golds and 40 medals in total, which would both be record tallies. Canada currently holds the record for most golds with 14 in 2010, while the United States won a record 37 medals at the same Games.
Host country South Korea has set a target of eight golds at the Games, which will be the first Asian Winter Olympics staged outside Japan, though six would equal its record haul from the 2006 and 2010 editions.
All but one of South Korea's 26 gold medals at prior Winter Games have come from short track and speed skating, and Gracenote expected that run to continue with three golds in each sport at the 2018 Olympics.
Gracenote also predicted Russian teenager Evgenia Medvedeva would take the women's figure skating gold medal and that Canada would the men's ice hockey tournament for a third straight Olympics.
(Reporting by Peter Rutherford; Editing by John O'Brien)