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Tennis star Bruno Soares lifts Brazil’s hopes for Summer Olympics

Bruno Soares during the mixed doubles final at the Australian Open on Jan. 31.

Bruno Soares during the mixed doubles final at the Australian Open on Jan. 31.

(Greg Wood / AFP/Getty Images)

If Super Bowl week proves anything, there can never be too much pregame hype or too many expert predictions.

The same is true for the Olympics where, with more than six months to go before the start of the 2016 Summer Games, forecasters are already adjusting their medal counts.

Infostrada sports, which keeps a running “virtual medals table,” is still predicting the U.S. will lead all nations with 94 total medals -- 42 of them gold -- in Rio de Janeiro.

The new prediction this week? Brazil will finish in the Top 10 for the first time ever with 22 medals.

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The home team always gets a bump for competing in front of friendly crowds. Brazil gets an extra push from the performance of tennis player Bruno Soares at the recent Australian Open.

Soares won the men’s and mixed doubles in Melbourne, which could set him up for podium spots in those events next August.

Infostrada sports predicts that China, Russia, Australia and Britain will round out the Top 5, in that order.

The Russian medal count will depend on whether the country’s track and field team, currently serving an international ban, is reinstated.

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