Gold Medal Count 2012: Day 13 Events USA Can Increase Total

Alex HallCorrespondent IIIAugust 9, 2012

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03:  Abby Wambach #14 of USA celebrates with her team-mates Megan Rapinoe (L) and Alex Morgan after scoring against New Zealand during the Women's Football Quarter Final match between United States and New Zealand, on Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at St James' Park on August 3, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

The United States had a crucial medal haul during Day 12 of the Summer Games, so much so that it overtook China for the overall medal count lead. That lead may just be by a small margin as of now, but there are three Day 13 events where the U.S. can take gold and create some space between itself and China.

Women's Soccer Final

The U.S. women's soccer team have been a hot topic of the London Games since they began, largely thanks to their 2011 World Cup performance. Well, that and the fact they're the two-time defending Olympic champions.

The Americans did what they became famous for last summer to make the 2012 Olympic gold medal game: defy the odds and find a way to win. Thanks to a stellar header by Alex Morgan, the team once again finds itself in a final against Japan.

The defending World Cup champions won't be easy for the Americans to defeat, considering their last two contests against their gold medal opponent have resulted in a loss and draw respectively.

This match will not see either squad win by a large amount, but the U.S. women will be riding the wave of momentum that came from their stunning overtime victory against Canada in the semifinals.

Momentum is a great thing to have on your side when you also have some of the top players in the world on your roster like Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach, Morgan and goalkeeper Hope Solo.

The Americans have been waiting for another tournament final against Japan, and they will make up for their World Cup runner-up finish with yet another Olympic gold medal.

Women's Water Polo Final

In another redemptive type story, the U.S. women's water polo team finds itself in a second-straight gold medal Olympic game, this time against Spain.

The Americans saw the gold medal slip into the hands of the Netherlands back in 2008 at the Beijing Games, but have shown the determination necessary in London to capture it this time around.

The United States have been on a roll in London, with no losses on its record and just one draw coming against its gold medal opponent Spain.

The Spaniards have also gone undefeated so far, but their opponent has far more Olympic experience. This is Spain's first time qualifying for the Summer Games whereas the Americans have won either silver or bronze medals at the past three.

Experience favors the United States and it should capture its first ever gold on Day 13.

Women's Middleweight Boxing Final

Olympic experience isn't something Claressa Shields has entering her middleweight boxing gold medal game, but she does have a 26-1 record with 14 knockouts.

That first loss did come at the 2012 World Championships just before London, but considering the rest of her results in boxing matches, a different result should be expected from Shields on Day 13.

The Michigan native isn't thinking about her first loss entering this final, focusing instead on her latest string of success, telling Jo-Ann Barnes of the Detroit Free Press after her semifinal victory:

I'm going to be fighting for the gold tomorrow. It's like, I'm not dreaming no more. Like it's real. I believe I can beat anybody. It's right there, I just have to grab it.

As Barnes pointed out in her article, the 17-year-old Olympian can become the first woman boxer to ever win gold at the Summer Games with a victory against Russia's Nadezda Torlopova.

One thing Shields does have in her favor over her opponent is the fact she's coming off a dominating victory over Kazakhstan's Marina Volnova where she won 29-15.

Torlopova on the other hand, barely got through the semis against China's Li Jinzi by a score of 12-10. Shields is entering the bout confident and with a history of knocking her opponents out over her young career.

She might not knock out her Russian opponent on Day 13, but she could easily grab that gold medal regardless.