On the 2012 Olympic medal count front the United States begins Thursday's action with the lead for the first time in several days, thanks to a big Wednesday in track and field—including three gold medals—and two medals from women's beach volleyball, where Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings edged out their American counterparts for their third gold medal. China retains a two-gold lead, but in the overall medal count its USA 81, China 77 ahead of Thursday's action.
Russia remains in third place, though it's a strange foothold they have—they have half as many (11) gold medals as Great Britain, but have them edged out 52 (11/19/22) to 48 (22/13/13) in total medal count. Germany rounds out the top five, knocking Japan out for the first time all week.
Team USA will have to maintain its strong start in track and field to keep its lead over this strong China squad—and a gold medal in women's soccer, over Japan, certainly wouldn't hurt. For more updates, stay tuned to this storystream—you can "like" it and we'll deliver updates directly to your Facebook—and check out SI.com's medal count tracker for up-to-the-minute totals.