Olympic Games 2012: 4 Countries That Failed to Dominate 'Specialty' Events
The Olympic Games bring attention to sports that don't receive mainstream publicity normally. That is one of the beauties of the event: It brings sports we are not accustomed to watching front and center on the world stage.
It also allows us to associate certain countries as favorites in some of these "specialty" sports. More often than not, these countries tend to dominate the sport and usually don't have too many competitors. There is normally a longstanding rival and a strong competitor with an outside shot at winning.
The 2012 Olympic Games saw a lot of the usual suspects live up to their expectations. South Korea had a very strong performance in archery while the Chinese cleaned up in badminton and table tennis.
There were also some countries that have not lived up to their Olympic Games traditions. Some of these countries were noticeably missing from their traditional spots when the medals were handed out in London.
Here are four countries that didn't perform to their expectations in "specialty" events.
United States: Men's Boxing
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The United States have won 109 boxing medals at the Olympic Games—more than any other country. If the U.S. men's boxers keep performing like they did in London, that dominance over the sport will eventually be in jeopardy.
A dark cloud hovers over U.S. boxing as the U.S. men left London without winning a single boxing medal. Long gone are the golden days of Cassius Clay, George Foreman, Joe Frazier and Sugar Ray Leonard throwing punches for the red, white and blue.
Now the Americans are sending boxers good enough to qualify, but not good enough to win. The forecast for Rio doesn't look any brighter.
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Australia is the second-most decorated country in swimming in the history of the Olympic Games. According to foxsports.com, their Olympic Committee President John Coates is blaming the swimmers for the country's poor performance in the entire Olympic Games.
The difference as you know, I was reported as saying half way through the games, has come in swimming.
The swimmers contributed 20 of the 46 medals in Beijing and they contributed 10 here.
Sounds like a long plane ride back for the Aussies.
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Kenya is very well known for producing great distance runners. After six gold medals at the Beijing Olympic Games, they were expected to continue their dominance. They were the definite favorites in the men's marathon.
Unfortunately for Kenya, their duo of Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang couldn't keep up with Stephen Kiprotich from Uganda.
They should be back owning the distance races in Rio.
Hungary: Water Polo
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The Hungary men's water polo team arrived in London after winning three consecutive Olympic gold medals in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. They couldn't make it out of the quarterfinals in London.