Olympic medal count: US hot on the track

With track and field events kicking into high gear, the Americans have already won some medals and there's more to look forward on Tuesday. 

By , Contributor

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    Jennifer Suhr, from New York, reacts as she clears the bar in the women's pole vault final during at the Summer Olympics, Monday.
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At the London Olympics the past few days, it's been all about track and field, and American athletes have risen to the occasion.

On Monday afternoon pole vaulter Jenn Suhr, from Fredonia, New York, won the gold medal. Suhr had won the silver medal in the Beijing Games, but faced tough competition from Cuban Yarisley Silva and Russian Yelena Isinbayeva.

The three went round after round as the bar was moved higher and higher, until finally, Silva and Isinbayeva faltered at the 4.80 mark. It was a bit of an upset, considering Isinbayeva had cleared the 5.06 mark in 2009 to set the world record.

Recommended: 2012 Olympic quiz, Part II: Are you a gold medalist?

On Monday Michael Tinsley, from Little Rock Ark., also won a hard-fought silver medal in the men's 400-meter hurdles. Tinsley, with a time of 47.91 seconds, finished just behind the Dominican Republic's Felix Sanchez, who ran a 47.63 for the gold. Javier Culson, from Puerto Rico, won the bronze.

On Sunday, Sanya Richards-Ross also had a memorable track and field moment, winning the gold medal in the women's 400-meters. Richards-Ross, from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., had been disappointed with her performance in Beijing, where she took the bronze in the 400-meters. Then in 2010 and 2011, she struggled coming back from a quad muscle injury, an injured ankle, and a bruised tailbone. 

Sunday night's victory was especially sweet, it being the US's first gold medal of the London Games in track and field. American DeeDee Trotter, from Georgia, got the bronze in the event, and Great Britain's Christine Ohuruogu won the silver.

Marathoner Galen Rupp also medalled for the US on Saturday. Rupp won the silver in the 10,000-meters, behind Britain's Mo Farah

On Tuesday the US will have more chances to medal on the track. Dawn Harper, Lolo Jones, and Kellie Wells will run in the much-anticipated women's 100-meter hurdles. Harper won the gold in Beijing after Jones fell, but Jones, a fan favorite, is hoping to make a comeback. The semifinals are at 2:15 p.m. EST, and the finals are at 4 p.m.

High-jumper Erik Kynard, from Ohio, also hopes to medal Tuesday. He finished first in the qualifying round. The finals are at 2 p.m.

Monday was also a good day for the British. They held firm in third place with 40 medals total, 18 of them gold. The Brits picked up two more gold medals, one by cyclist Jason Kenny, who won the men's sprint in track cycling. It was Kenny's second gold of the London Games, as he also picked up a gold with the men's track team in their sprint.

Great Britain also won a gold medal in equestrian team jumping. The four riders for Britain out-jumped the Netherlands, who won silver, and Saudi Arabia, who won bronze. Another British jumping team had also won silver earlier in the London Games.

But a special win for the Brits came from gymnast Rebecca Tweddle. A fan favorite, Tweddle won the bronze medal on the uneven bars after American Gabby Douglas faltered in her routine, landing in eighth place.

China still leads the medal count with 64 medals total, 31 gold.

Recommended: 2012 Olympic quiz, Part II: Are you a gold medalist?
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