If the Summer Olympics were held today, China would win 11 more gold medals than the United States.

That's the projection of a "relative" Olympic medals table released yesterday by the British Olympic Association. The figures are based on results in Olympic sports and disciplines competed at the world level in 2006.

"We've looked upon the most appropriate mechanism for gauging the individual sports," BOA chief executive Simon Clegg said. "European championship results have not been taken into account."

The U.S. topped the medals list at the 2004 Athens Olympics with 35 golds and 103 total. China won 32 golds and 63 total. Russia had 27 golds and 92 total.

With the next Olympics being held in Beijing in 2008, China is expected to challenge for medal supremacy.

According to the British study of 2006 results, China would top the gold medal table with 48, and total 84 overall. The United States would win 37 gold and 93 total, followed by Russia (32-82), Australia (20-43) and the Netherlands (13-20).

Last month, U.S. Olympic Committee chief executive Jim Scherr said the Beijing Games will be the most competitive in history and American athletes will have to surpass 35 golds to top the list.

"The Chinese will certainly have a great shot at winning the gold medal table and the overall count," Scherr said. "It will take north of 40, but maybe fewer than 100 overall."

-- From News Services