Olympic Medal Count 2012: Nations That Will Boost Medal Total in Track Events

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Olympic Medal Count 2012: Nations That Will Boost Medal Total in Track Events
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The United States and China have turned the medal count into a two-horse race at the 2012 London Olympics, but you'll see some other countries join in on the podium fun when the track and field events begin on Friday.

The Day 7 schedule in London will only feature two medal events in track and field (men's shot put, women's 10,000-meter run), but as we head into the weekend, all the headlines will be dominated by the action on the track at Olympic Stadium.

Look for the following three countries to boost their medal count by taking advantage of the track-heavy second-half of the 2012 Olympics.

 

Jamaica

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Jamaica has yet to earn a medal in London, but they will skyrocket up the standings when the track events begin. The Jamaicans are notoriously good sprinters, and they'll trot out some heavy medal favorites on both the men's and women's teams.

Usain Bolt is obviously the most high-profile of the Jamaicans, and he'll be expected to defend his gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. He won't be the lone Jamaican on the podium in those events though, as Yohan Blake (100, 200), Asafa Powell (100) and Jason Young (200) will also be gold medal contenders.

On the women's side, Jamaica swept the medals in the 100 in Beijing. That won't happen again this year, but defending gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown are both threats to take home the gold.

With Fraser-Pryce and Campbell-Brown also competing in the 200, Jamaica will earn one or two more medals there, as well.

 

Great Britain

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The host nation is currently in seventh place with 15 medals, but they'll have a great chance to leapfrog France, Russia, Germany and Japan during the track events.

Mo Farah is the greatest distance runner in British history, and he'll be a threat to win the gold in both the men's 5k and 10k runs. He'll have some stiff competition from the Kenyans and Ethiopians, but he should win two medals in London.

Other Britons expected to medal are Jessica Ennis (heptathlon), Phillips Idowu (triple jump), Christine Ohuruogu (400-meter dash) and Greg Rutherford (long jump).

 

United States

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The rich will get richer, as the United States are expected to separate themselves from the Chinese during the track and field events.

As usual, Team USA is loaded with talent, from sprinters (Carmelita Jeter, Allyson Felix, Tyson Gay, LaShawn Merritt), to jumpers (Jesse Williams, Brittney Reese), to distance runners (Galen Rupp, Morgan Uceny) to a whole slew of other athletes.

Of all the Americans to watch, the one of most interest will be Ashton Eaton. He may be the greatest decathlete of all-time, and at just 24 years old, a dominant performance in London could be the first of many memorable Olympic moments from him.

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