Olympic Medal Count 2012: America's Best Opportunites to Win Gold on Monday

Austin GreenCorrespondent IJuly 30, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28:  Ryan Lochte of the United States celebrates with his Gold Medal during the Medal Ceremony for the Men's 400m Individual Medley on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

With two days of competition behind us, the United States is currently in second place in the 2012 London Olympics medal count. 

As of this moment, Team USA trails China both in total medals (12-11) and gold medals (6-3). The American athletes will have a great opportunity to equal or surpass the Chinese today, though, as they specialize in several upcoming events.

Although these Olympics have been filled with early surprises, look for the United States to take home the gold in the following competitions.


Men's Swimming: 200-Meter Freestyle

Ryan Lochte is accountable for one-third of America's gold medals thus far, and he'll look to add another in Monday's 200-meter freestyle final.

Lochte is the defending world champion in this event, so he should be considered the favorite. He finished fifth in qualifying, posting a time of 1:46.31. However, considering that Lochte was out celebrating the night before the prelims, that might not be the best indication of his potential (Associated Press via NYPost.com).

Lochte will have to fend off 400-meter freestyle gold medalist Sun Yang of China and Paul Biedermann of Germany, who set the world record back in 2009. If he performs at the level he's capable of, though, Lochte should earn his second gold of the 2012 Games.


Women's Swimming: 100-Meter Backstroke

Swimming phenom Missy Franklin will look to claim her second Olympic medal, this time with her sights set on gold.

The 17-year-old Colorado native helped the U.S. women win the bronze in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay, and today she will compete in her first individual event on the world's biggest stage.

Franklin set the American record in the 100-meter backstroke in the Olympic trials. She finished second in qualifying with a time of 59.12 seconds. Only Australian Emily Seebohm (58.39) was faster.

If she can improve on her qualifying time and outduel Seebohm, Franklin will earn her first career Olympic gold.


Men's Gymnastics: Team Final

The 2012 U.S. men's gymnastics team is perhaps the most talented in the country's history, so don't be surprised if they take home the gold on Monday.

There's not a weak link in the group. Jake Dalton, Jonathan Horton, Danell Lleyva, Sam Mikulak and John Orozco are all exceptionally talented.

The 26-year-old Horton is the only member with past Olympic experience, winning silver in the high bar in Beijing. However, although the rest of the team is new to the Olympics, they should still be considered the favorites. Lleyva won gold in the parallel bars at the 2011 World Championships, and Dalton, Mikulak and Orozco are all capable of pulling off similar feats.

Japan and China will be Team USA's biggest threats. If they bring their best, though, the American's will add another gold medal to their country's tally.

Click here for the complete 2012 London Olympics medal tracker