What the crystal ball revealsAugust 18, 2016

The Games of the XXXI Olympiad aren't over, but many are looking towards the coming years. It's not about bringing back women's softball into the Olympic program, not another athlete's failed drug test either. Let's cut to the chase:

Yelena Isinbayeva will run for president of the Russian Athletic Federation. Dmitri Shlyakhtin, the current head of the Russian Athletic Federation (ARAF), will step down in November. The pole vaulter, who won the Olympic gold medal in 2004 and 2008, would cite personal reasons behind her decision to seek the post. "The fact that I was not allowed to compete in the 2016 Olympics will help me to try to make sure that the ARAF is a member of the IAAF again," she said. Pride would be at stake, as Russia (and the former Soviet Union) have kept the United States from dominating the track and field. Some observers would be surprised if the American team won't win 20 gold medals in Rio. Will Isinbayeva be able to repair Russia's tainted reputation? Perhaps not. A period of four years is a short time to make a dent on a system. And ARAF could be looking at the 2024 Summer Games.

It will be four gymnasts per nation. The Americans won their second successive gold medal in the team all-around, and this new rule would prompt (American) media to think of a new nickname. (Fab Four might be overused, though.) This will hardly affect the chances of the American team to with their third straight gold. They would still be far from the record of eight straight gold medals, which was achieved by the Soviet gymnasts. Romania, which failed to qualify for the Olympics, could make a comeback in Tokyo. And the US can't get complacent with China not far behind them. Don't count out Simone Biles.

Fiji won the men's rugby seven. And expect this tiny Pacific nation to defend their gold medal successfully (in 2020). Unlike the other competing nations, Fiji has a few more reasons to be more motivated to win the gold. Rugby seven to them is like water polo to Hungary. It's the only sports where they'll win an Olympic medal. And the members of the International Olympic Committee (OIC) are aware of the plight of the smaller nations. (Athletes from First World countries would dominate the Summer Games.) Will rugby seven suffer the same fate as women's softball? Not the least. The past results of the World Cup would show that Fiji didn't dominate this prestigious tournament. It's not the case with the women's side, as Australia and New Zealand are heads and shoulders above their competitors.

Wish you were here. The golfers were referring to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Golf Course, where dog-sized capybaras would be a ubiquitous sight. "They live here and we play golf here, we co-exist," PGA Tour director of international agronomy Mark Johnson said. Sergio Garcia and Bernd Wiesberger were seen taking pictures of these rodents, but they weren't distracted by the sight of it. Current Open champion Henrik Stenson is among the early leaders, while there's still a buzz about the absence of several top players on the PGA Tour. A familiar name may win the gold medal and can change their minds.

The Boomers will win an Olympic medal in men's basketball. Analysts didn't give the Australian men's basketball national team a high chance against the American team of NBA players. They favored the Serbians and French players, who finished second and third at the 2014 FIBA World Cup respectively. But the Boomers beat both teams at the Carioca Arena 1. And they gave the Americans their first stern test in Rio. The future looked bright for Australian basketball, with young guns possibly donning the national uniform for the next FIBA World Cup. But the Andrew Bogut-led squad would have a good chance of winning a silver medal.

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