2012 Olympics: Nation Power Rankings, Day 4 Edition
Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the modern Olympic Games under the notion that it would create mutual understanding between nations and put an end to martial conflict.
Today, we use it as an outlet for our sublimated jingoism.
Whatever, dude was an out-of-touch aristocrat with a whacked-out mustache.
Without further ado, your nation vs. nation power rankings for a busy Day 4 of Olympic action.
Though winter sports are more their speed, the Canadians came through with a solid showing on Tuesday in London.
Team Canada took home three medals—all bronze, but you can't argue with volume.
The podium-placing athletes:
Christine Girard (women's weightlifting, 63 kg)
Antonie Valois-Fortier (men's judo, 81 kg)
Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito (women's synchronized 10-meter platform)
On Tuesday, Slovenian Urska Zolnir won gold in women's judo, becoming just the fourth Olympic champion in her nation's sporting history.
Slovenia (pop. approximately 2 million) has less people than Chicago (pop. approximately 2.6 million).
Let it be known: Kazakhstan plays to win.
The Kazakhstanis have won three medals at these Games and all three have been gold.
The latest came today courtesy of women's weightlifter Maiya Maneza.
Maneza failed in two attempts to set a new world record, which has to be something of a disappointment by Kazkhstani standards, right?
It's been a banner year for Qatar's Olympic contingent.
The peninsular Middle Eastern state first made news earlier this summer by selecting its first ever cohort of female Olympians.
Today, the country of roughly 1.8 million won just its third ever Olympic medal and first since 2000.
The man responsible was Nasser Al-Attiya, a part-time rally-car driver who ditched his wheels long enough to take bronze in the men's skeet competition.
Egypt entered the medal table today in dramatic fashion, as foil fencer Alaaeldin Abouelkassem beat two former world champions en route to a historic silver medal.
For Egypt, the medal was its first in the discipline and its best finish at an Olympic Games (in any event) since 2004.
Abouelkassem said the medal was for his father, who died three months before the London Games.
Also of note, Abouelkassem is the first fencer from Africa to win an Olympic medal.
Germany loves it some horse riding.
The Central European state took gold and bronze in the individual jumping event—that's an equestrian event for those unaware—and won top prize in the team jumping final.
The Germans added silver medals in judo (men's 81 kg) and men's single canoe slalom (C1) to cap their most decorated day of these London Games.
As icing on the (German chocolate) cake, tennis stars Sabine Lisicki and Angelique Kerber both advanced to the third round of the women's singles tournament.
4. South Africa
What would you do if you beat Michael Phelps?
Few can answer that question with any certainty, but as of today, South Africa's Chad le Clos is one of those esteemed few.
His answer: Freak the eff out (see picture for confirmation).
The Durban-born swimmer out-touched Phelps in the closing meters of the men's 200-meter butterfly, winning his first career gold medal and denying Phelps a chance to become the first male swimmer ever with three consecutive wins in an Olympics event.
The medal was South Africa's second of these games. Both were won in the pool, and both were gold.
France's dream meet in the pool continued on Tuesday with two more medals, both silver.
Yannick Agnel led his countrymen to a second-place finish in the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay moments after Camille Muffat finished behind American Allison Schmitt in the women's 200 free.
Veteran French paddler Tony Estanguet did his aquatic brethren one better, winning his third career gold in the men's single canoe slalom.
Elsewhere, the country's men's basketball team notched a massive victory over group rival Argentina, men's singles medal threat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won a match that ended with the longest Olympic set ever played, and France's women's soccer team advanced to the knockout round with a 1-0 victory over Colombia.
Oh man, where to start?
In one day, the Chinese took gold in men's weightlifting (69 kg), women's 200-meter individual medley, men's individual foil and women's synchronized 10-meter platform diving.
For good measure, they added a silver in women's judo (63 kg) and a bronze in the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay.*
You know, just to have all the medals covered.
The lesson learned: China strong, world weak.
*The 4x200 bronze was China's first relay medal in men's swimming.
1. United States
What a day for the good ol' U.S. of A.
The women's gymnastics team won its first all-around title since 1996 and Michael Phelps captured his record-breaking 19th Olympic medal.
No need for hyperbole or even much context; those accomplishments do all the talking.
And both landmark wins came in dominant fashion, with the U.S. women cruising past Russia and Phelps anchoring a 4x200-meter freestyle relay team that won with laughable ease.
Not to be forgotten, Allison Schmitt whupped butt in the women's 200 free, while Vincent Hancock won his second consecutive gold medal in the men's skeet-shooting competition.
Need further convincing?
America medaled in all four swimming finals and beat Tunisia in men's basketball by 47 points.
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