Olympic Medal Count 2012: Team USA Locks That Will Increase Gold Medal Total
As the United States continues its pursuit to finish atop the overall medal table in a hotly contested race with China, every gold medal will help. Based on performances so far, there are several American athletes and teams who should be able to bring home the top prize in their events.
Let's take a look at the three biggest locks to bring home gold as it stands right now. Since the competition with China will likely take until the final days of the Olympics for a winner to emerge, it's certainly a situation where each medal is crucial.
Williams punched her ticket to the women's singles final with a dominant victory over Victoria Azarenka, who entered the tournament ranked No. 1. That didn't phase the younger Williams sister, as she dropped just three games in a straight-sets win.
Maria Sharapova will be waiting for Williams in the gold-medal match. While the Russian superstar has been enjoying a good summer of her own, the American is untouchable when she's at the top of her game like she has been ever since Wimbledon.
Williams has been on a mission throughout this tournament, showing more emotion than fans are used to seeing from her—which shows how much she wants the gold medal. And, with the way she's been playing, it's really hard to imagine Sharapova beating her at this point.
Which country will win the medal race?
Coming into the Olympics, there was talk about teams that would be capable of giving the United States a real challenge in London. But after watching Spain barely defeat Great Britain and Argentina get upset by France, it appears Team USA is in a class of its own.
The Americans showed off their amazing depth in a 156-73 thumping of Nigeria on Thursday. Six players scored in double figures, and the team as a whole shot an eye-popping 81 percent from inside the arc—a number that would be tough to match in shootaround.
Although the team still has a long way to go before living up to those Dream Team comparisons that were big leading into the Games, they certainly seem like an unstoppable force right now. Only five more wins for gold.
Women's Indoor Volleyball
The women's indoor volleyball team hasn't received as much attention as Williams or the men's basketball squad but has been equally as impressive. The Americans are the only team in Pool B without a loss.
A strong core of veterans led by Logan Tom and Lindsey Berg have been joined by some rising stars like Destinee Hooker and Megan Hodge to give the United States the most complete roster of any country in the tournament.
Even though Russia has looked strong and figure to serve as Team USA's competition, the Americans have been getting strong with every match and should reach their peak in time for the knockout rounds. After winning silver four years ago, they are ready to win gold.
For a complete look at the current 2012 Olympic medal count, click here.
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