The Russian team is expected to surge up the medals table at Beijing 2022, according to Gracenote ©Getty Images

The Olympic Athletes from Russia team is expected to surge up the Winter Olympic medals table, according to a new forecast released with one year to go before Beijing 2022.

A "virtual medal table" produced by Gracenote Sports, a sports data company, shows Russian athletes soaring from 13th place at Pyeongchang 2018 to second spot, behind only Norway, with a medals haul doubling from 17 to 34.

It is not yet known what the "neutral" Russian team at Beijing 2022 will be called.

Says Gracenote: "Russian athletes are allowed to compete at the Beijing Winter Games under the Olympic flag.

"Assuming that all of those currently in top three positions on the [table] fulfil the requirements to participate, 34 medals are forecast.

"This would be…more than any Russian or Soviet team managed at a Winter Games.

"The Russians look particularly strong in speed skating this time around with eight medals forecast.”

It should be remembered that Beijing 2022 is expected to consist of 109 events, seven more than the number featured in South Korea three years ago.

Gracenote says that in compiling its new table, it considered "the most up-to-date athlete results from key competitions since the 2018 Winter Games".

Gracenote has revealed its virtual medals table for Beijing 2022 ©Gracenote
Gracenote has revealed its virtual medals table for Beijing 2022 ©Gracenote

Somewhat surprisingly, the forecast projects little improvement for China.

The host nation’s haul is projected to slip from nine to eight medals, with its position edging up from 16th to 14th.

For a variety of reasons, Olympic hosts tend to perform relatively strongly in their home Games.

According to Gracenote, China has "never won a Winter Olympic medal in alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh, cross country skiing, ice hockey, luge, nordic combined, skeleton or ski jumping".

"Current Gracenote projections have no Chinese participants ranked in the top eight of these sports for the Beijing 2022 Games," the company added.

"China medal chances in Beijing are therefore probably restricted to curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, short track, snowboard and speed skating."