Olympic Medal Tally 2012: Team USA Uses Track and Field to Separate from China

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11:  Francena McCorory, Allyson Felix, DeeDee Trotter and Sanya Richards-Ross of the United States celebrate winning gold in the Women's 4 x 400m Relay Final on Day 15 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 11, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Team USA trailed China in overall medals for the majority of London's Olympic Games, but that all changed once track and field events got into full swing.

The Americans earned 29 of their 104 medals in this area. When you compare that to China's five-medal effort, it's obvious where the separation began.

Team USA's track effort was led by four female sprinters. Allyson Felix earned three gold medals while fellow sprinter Carmelita Jeter earned three medals as well (only one of the gold variety). Dee Dee Trotter and and Sanya Richards-Ross pulled their weight with two medals apiece.

The only American male to earn more than one medal in this section of Olympic sport didn't do it on the track. Will Claye earned a silver and bronze medal in the men's high jump and long jump events.

It was obvious from the very beginning that this year's Olympic medal race was a two-horse contest. China used their skills in the pool, with swimming and diving, to keep pace with Team USA, but track and field became their predictable downfall.

I only say predictable because of Team USA's stacked roster. China didn't stand a chance against the likes of them, and they weren't the only elite squad. Russia, Jamaica and Kenya all earned double-digit medals, and that left no room for the Chinese squad to gain any ground.

The second half of this year's Summer Olympics was taken over by track and field. China took a lead into this portion of the games, but they didn't stand much of a chance against the world's elite sprinters, jumpers, distance runners, shot-putters, javelin throwers and discus hurlers. 

Even if Team USA didn't earn a medal in every event, it didn't matter. Their success was more than enough to push them past China in the overall standings.

Team USA is notorious for success on the track, and this year was no different. It allowed them to claim the top spot in London and proved their talent once again.