London 2012: USA push China aside to restore medal dominance
China inflicted an early psychological blow at the top of the
with teenage swimmer
Ye Shiwen's stunning double gold,
but the Aquatics Centre has ultimately proved a key venue as the United States have bitten back to dominate the Olympics
Four years ago in Beijing,
the Americans, who had previously come first in all but one Olympics since they boycotted the 1980 Games, were stung when they were knocked off the top of the overall podium by the Chinese.
Symbolically, China's track and field hero Liu Xiang fell before the first barrier in the heats of the men's 110 metre hurdles - an event that saw the US take gold and silver through
Aries Merritt and Jason Richardson.
And United States team spokesman Patrick Sandusky appeared to play down the importance of the medals table when he said: "The Olympic Games is a competition between athletes, not nations. With that said, we are very proud of our American athletes in London."
But Steve Roush, former chief of sports performance of the United States Olympic Committee, feels American dominance on the track has been decisive.
"If there is a surprise, it's just how well the US has done in track and field," he said. "China's big challenge is in swimming and track and field. There are so many medals at stake."
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