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Americans clinch medals chase

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LONDON » Swimming, track and field, basketball, women’s soccer, Serena Williams and Aly Raisman. They all found their way onto U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst’s highlight list from the London Games.

"I like to hear ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ — a lot," Probst said.

Good thing, because the U.S. national anthem has blared more than any other in London over these last two weeks, and that won’t change before the Olympic flame is extinguished tonight. With one day left, the U.S. has locked up the overall medals race over China.

It will be the fifth straight Summer Games where U.S. athletes took home more prizes than anyone else from an Olympics.

"The Olympic motto is faster, higher, stronger. And I think that every American came here to do that," U.S. judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison said Saturday. "Not necessarily fastest, highest, strongest, but I came here to perform at my very, very best and make America proud as a result."

She wasn’t alone.

Through Saturday’s medal events, U.S. Olympians in London had claimed 102 medals, 15 more than the Chinese. Americans were also leading the gold-medal chase over China, 44-38.

American swimmers won 31 medals. Track and field now has 29, one marathon medal today away from getting to 30 — a goal that seemed farfetched to some in the U.S. Olympic movement not long ago. Gabby Douglas won the women’s all-around competition in gymnastics, Raisman left that venue with three medals and Williams won Olympic gold at Wimbledon over Maria Sharapova in what Probst said was "the most dominating performance I have ever seen by a female tennis player, ever."

 

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