London 2012 Day 3: the USA and China neck and neck

Ryan Lochte (USA) winning gold in 400m Individual Medley
Only three days into the London 2012 Olympic Games and the battle is head on for two of the three sporting world’s major powers: the USA are leading GSN’s Olympic ranking by a slim margin (74 points) over China.
The Chinese are on par  in the medal count but lead the medals table by virtue of 9 golds vs the Americans’ 5.
As usual GSN’s data takes into account the first 8 positions in any medal event, and again as usual, the USA’s strength in depth shows. They have scored points, and medals, in 8 different sports so far, the same as China but with a higher number of results (in the first 8): 33 to 27.
It’s so close then, while the third super power, Russia, is slowly awakening and is now in 6th place overall. They have not performed as well as the top two in Swimming, which has the lion share of points so far. In between we find Japan in 3rd place in GSN’s Olympic ranking, thanks to Judo and Swimming, surprising Italy in 4th place, first of the Europeans, due mainly to their brilliant Fencing Men and Women’s teams, and 5th placed France, emerging as a top contender in Swimming too.
As for the hosts Great Britain, it’s been slim pickings so far. They are as low as 20th in the medals table, and a more encouraging 10th in the GSN ranking, with 5 Swimming placements to add to three medals in that discipline. It’s all in the pool though, with no other medals or placements in any other sport.
It’s no consolation but the other European giant, Germany, is faring slightly worse, only 13th in the ranking.

It’s still early days, with over 200 events still to go, and there is plenty of time to improve. But there are already 61 countries with points in the GSN ranking, and competition is getting hotter.