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PHOTO/ London Olympics: Winning Moments

Photo gallery of some of the winners and winning moments of the 2012 London Olympics thus far, including the American gymnasts and Chinese swimming superstar Ye Shiwen.

(Infophoto) (Infophoto)

As we approach the halfway point of the 2012 Olympics in London, there is already much to talk about and excitement is still building for the results of the rest of the events. China and the United States are tied in the medal count with 23, though China is ahead in gold medals 13 to 9. Behind these two powerhouses is France with 11 medals and four golds. While some sports, like Track and Field, have yet to start, and others, like Football and Basketball are in their preliminary stages, many other sports have been in the spotlight in the last few days.

Number one on the list is probably swimming, one of the most popular sports of the Olympics and, after track and field, the one with the most events. As was expected, American swimmer Michael Phelps was able to break the record of the most Olympic medals by winning his 19 yesterday, with a gold in the team 200 meter relay, passing Russian gymnast Larissa Latynina. However, hours before that, he came in second in his strongest event, the 200 butterfly, meaning that he missed the chance to become the first swimmer to win an Olympic event three times in a row.

Another huge splash was made by 16 year-old Ye Shiwen, who has set two world records with her times in the 400 Individual Medley and the 200 IM. She especially amazed in the 400 because her final fifty meters (in 28.93 seconds) was faster than that of the men’s winner Ryan Lochte (29 seconds). The Chinese superstar is one of a few teens who are taking over the pool this year, including 17 year-old American Missy Franklin, who set a record in backstroke, and 15 year old Ruta Meilutyte from Lithuania, who won.

Another popular sport that has excited the crowds in the last few days is Gymnastics, with the Team All Around Finals taking place yesterday for the women and two days ago for the men. The Chinese men continued their reign in the men’s finals after a poor showing in the qualifying stage, and took the gold, while a controversial silver was given to Japan, and the host nation won a surprising bronze. The woman’s finals were dominated by the United States, with Russia coming in second and Romania third. Excitement is mounting for the Individual All Arounds taking place today and tomorrow.

Much is left to look forward to with the finals of the team sports looming in the future, as well as the beginning of Track and Field. The big question of the medal count remains open, as experts predict that this year will be the year for the Chinese to overtake the Americans. It all remains to be seen in the next 12 days.