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Olympic Roundup: USA nears medal supremacy

Aug. 10, 2012 at 7:16 PM
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LONDON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- A feat of speed by four American women and a show of strength by a U.S. wrestler moved their country close to an overall Olympic triumph Friday.

With two days of competition remaining and medal opportunities starting to run out, the United States opened a lead over China for international bragging rights over the next four years.

Although the International Olympic Committee frowns on the keeping of medal totals, the records are kept through the years by those with an interest in which nation has done what in the world's largest gathering of athletes.

The records being kept this year show the United States has 41 gold medals.

Since the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, where the Soviet bloc boycotted the Games and the Americans ran up against watered-down competition while producing a record 83 gold medals, the most victories for the United States has been the 44 it managed in Atlanta.

This year's total is five greater than that achieved in Beijing and five more than the American total from Athens.

Heading into the final weekend of the Olympics, the American gold medal haul is four more than that achieved by the Chinese. The 94-81 U.S. lead in overall medals appears safe.

China won only one medal throughout Friday's competition, that being a silver in women's team synchronized swimming.

The United States tacked on four medals, two of them gold.

One of them came from the American women's sprint relay team of Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter. They broke a world record that had stood for 27 years.

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That quartette ran a 40.82 to win the 4X100-meter relay over Jamaica by more than a half second.

In the men's 74-kilogram division of freestyle wrestling, American Jordan Ernest Burroughs won his gold medal bout in a dominating performance against Iranian Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi.

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The United States thus matched its gold medal total in wrestling from the Beijing Games with one.

Although the Americans will not win a medal in men's boxing at these Olympics, a lot of other nations will.

Semifinals were held in all 10 boxing classifications Friday and 14 different countries put at least one boxer into the finals. Ukraine will be the only nation with three.

The expected march to a gold medal for the United States men's basketball team also moved toward its final step.

The Americans pulled away late, as they have often during the Olympics, to defeat Argentina 109-83. Kevin Durant hit four 3-pointers during a huge third quarter to quickly extend what had been only a 7-point halftime lead.

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There will be a rematch of the 2008 finals in the gold medal game Sunday when the United States meets Spain. In that game played in Beijing, the Spanish team was within 2 points midway through the fourth quarter and wound up losing by 11.

The U.S. women's basketball team will go after its 41st consecutive Olympic victory and its fifth straight gold medal Saturday against France.

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