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London 2012 Olympic Medal Count: Michael Phelps Helps U.S. Keep Pace With China

Teamwork helped the United States tie China midway through Day 4 in the 2012 Summer Olympics medal count. Teamwork also helped the U.S. keep pace with China after the evening's swimming in London was done.

Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps swam the first and last legs of the 4x200m relay for Team USA in the day's last swimming final, and they helped the Americans to a victory that ceased to be in doubt about 100 meters into Lochte's first leg.

The medal was the 19th of Phelps' Olympic career and gave him the all-time Olympic medal record, breaking a tie that existed for less than an hour after Phelps tied Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina with his 18th medal, a silver in the men's 200m butterfly.

But neither of those wins could break a tie with China and gave the U.S. the lead in the overall medal count. Neither could Allison Schmitt preceding Phelps' swim with some dominance of her own in the women's 200m freestyle, earning the U.S.'s fifth individual gold in the pool.

That's because China's Ye Shiwen earned her second individual gold in the women's 200m IM, and Lin Qingfeng picked up a gold in weightlifting, extending the Chinese lead in the gold medal race, and the Chinese team took a distant bronze in the men's relay, leaving both nations tied at 23 medals after Day 4's final medal event.

Here's a more complete look at the medal count:

  1. China, 23 (13 gold, 6 silver, 4 bronze)
  2. United States, 23 (9, 8, 6)
  3. Japan, 13 (1, 4, 8)
  4. France, 11 (4, 3, 4)
  5. South Korea, 8 (3, 2, 3)

And for a slightly more sprite-ly version of that medal count: