Olympic Medal Count 2012: Upcoming Events Where USA Will Close Gap on China
At the close of competition on Tuesday, the United States found itself three medals behind first-place China in the overall medal count at the 2012 London Olympics.
Sunday, the last day of competition, is rapidly approaching, and the American competitors need to mount a charge soon if they are going to catch the Chinese at the top of the pack.
There are numerous events in the coming days that the United States will be able to perform well in and make up some ground on China.
Here are three of those events.
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh beat Xue Chen and Zhang Xi in their semifinal matchup to ensure that they would be competing for their third gold medal in as many Olympic Games.
Jen Kessy and April Ross scored a major upset win over top-ranked Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva to lock up the All-American final at the Horse Guards Parade in London.
The United States has the gold and silver medals locked up in this one, and could feasibly make up two medals on China if Chen and Xi lose to their Brazilian opponents in the bronze medal match.
Gold and silver are for certain, and Franca and Silva are a better team than the Chinese, so a Brazilian bronze is likely.
Women's Long Jump
The women's long jump isn't going to help the Americans close the gap too much, but one medal at a time isn't a bad start.
Brittney Reese will go for gold on Wednesday. She will be opposed by 11 women, none of which are Chinese.
Reese has a solid chance at gold too, as she has posted the longest personal best and season best among all finalists (7.23 meters).
Her qualifying jump of 6.57 meters was good enough to qualify, but it wasn't all that impressive. She took a safe jump on her last attempt because she had faulted in her first two, so expect that number to increase when it counts.
The medal matches for the 51 kg and 75 kg weight classes in women's boxing won't be held until Thursday, but the semifinal matches provide the perfect chance for the American women to win gold.
American Marlen Esparza faces China's Cancan Ren in the 51 kg semifinal. Esparza defeated her quarterfinal opponent 24-16, but Ren, one of the best in the world, is another animal in the ring.
Esparza is going to need to dig deep and do something special if she wants to take out Ren.
Claressa Shields will step into the ring for the United States in the 75 kg weight class against Kazakhstan's Marina Volnova.
At just 17 years old, Shields is one of the brightest young stars in this tournament, and she can set a date with either China's Jinzi Li or Russia's Nadezda Torlopova.
Here are the top-five countries in the medal count.
|Olympic Medal Tracker|
|China Total: 73||34||21||18|
|United States Total: 70||30||19||21|
|Great Britain Total: 48||22||13||13|
|Russia Total: 48||10||18||20|
|Japan Total: 29||2||13||14|
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