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Olympic Medal Count 2012 Chart: Events That Kept China from Gold-Medal Lead

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07:  Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor of the United States  of the United States celebrate after the Women's Beach Volleyball Semi Final match between United States and China on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Horse Guards Parade August 7, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Pete SchauerCorrespondent IAugust 11, 2012

It was a mere five days ago that China had the lead in both gold medals and total medals overall, but there were a few specific events that kept them from holding that lead.

Now, the Americans lead both the overall medal count (94) and gold-medal count (41) and have shown no signs of slowing down.

China, on the other hand, has slowed down significantly compared to the U.S., thanks in large part to these three events.

 

Women's Beach Volleyball

China's Xue Chen and Zhang Xi had one of the best chances to knock off the duo of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, given that they were actually seeded higher and had defeated the American pair in the past.

This match ended up just being a blip on the radar for May-Treanor and Walsh, though, who beat the Chinese 2-0 and ousted them from medal contention.

Women's beach volleyball turned out to be a non-gold-medal chance for every nation but the U.S., as the gold-medal game featured a pair of American teams pinned against each other.

May-Treanor and Walsh's 2012 Olympic gold medal only further cemented the duo as the best women's beach volleyball pairing of all time, in my opinion.


Women's Basketball

Led by Diana Turasi's 22 points, the U.S. women thwarted the Chinese women's basketball team on August 5, by a score of 114-66.

It didn't look good for China heading into the matchup against the U.S., as the country had never won an Olympic gold medal in women's basketball and entered the matchup against the Americans coming off of a 27-point drubbing at the hands of Turkey.

Unlike the Chinese, Team USA confidently heads into each Olympic Games knowing it will most likely be competing for a gold medal.

Perhaps the U.S. could start sending high-school players to the Games to even up the competition.


Women's 100-Meter Hurdles

The U.S. didn't take gold in this event, but it was able to add two medals to its count.

Americans Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells won the silver and bronze medals, finishing just behind Australia's Sally Pearson.

This was undoubtedly an event that sunk China's medal lead, as the Americans gained two medals while the Chinese didn't even have a participant in the 100-meter-hurdle finals.

This event really stuck out in my mind as a turning point in the medal count, helping the U.S. take control, which it has yet to relinquish.

 

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