London Olympics 2012: Asians make a big splash, leave Europeans lagging behind

Updated: Aug 02, 2012, 18:07 PM IST

London: With the London Olympic Games having entered into the sixth day, the Asian countries led by China are dominating the proceedings with traditional sports toppers like Great Britain and Russia lagging behind.

Chinese dominance has transcended to unconquered territories as well in the current edition of the mega sporting event, with its competitors reigning supreme in disciplines like swimming, a segment that had not been their forte in earlier Games.

Going into the sixth day of competitions, the Asian giants had clinched 17 gold, nine silver and four bronze medals, with swimmers attributing to eight (4-2-2) of the 30 medals won by the country followed closely by weightlifters (4-2-0).

In hot pursuit of China was the United States of America with 29 medals, including 12 golds, and in third position were South Korea, a surprise, with 12 medals (6-2-4).

In fact in the top 10 on the medals table after Day 5 were North Korea (4-0-1), Kazakhstan (3-0-0) and former Asian toppers Japan (2-4-11), an indication of the shift in sports prowess, though, athletics -- starting from Friday-- could change things drastically.

India, meanwhile, continued to lag far behind and were bringing up the rear of the medals table in the quadrennial event managing just one bronze through Gagan Narang in the 10m air rifle.

West Asian nations, barring Qatar, have drawn a blank, while countries forming the South-East Asia, have also not found a place in the in the medals chart.

While the USA has continued to be in the hunt for the top position, the traditional power centers like Russia, Great Britain and Germany, that finished third, fourth and fifth respectively in the medal standings in 2008 at Beijing, have lagged behind in the medal haul.

Germany have, however, been able to keep themselves in the run with three gold, eight silver and two bronze medals so far to their credit and stood 6th at close of yesterday.

South Korea, which finished seventh in Beijing, is aiming to improve its standing in London. The country has so far grabbed six golds and looking well on its way to swell the tally with the athletes still in the run in table tennis and archery.

Japan, with 17 (2-4-11) medals in the kitty, would also like to improve their previous showing. But their failure to capture the yellow metal in their favoured sport of judo till the end of the fifth day has left them in despair.

They, however, have chances to increase their medal score with disciplines like wrestling, where they have been doing well in the past.

The real surprise, though, has been the North Korea, which is dominating the standings at fifth position with four gold and one bronze medal.

The country had finished a distant 34th at the Beijing Games with two gold, one silver and three bronze medals.

Another Asian country in the top-10, Kazakhstan, have attained the gold standard thrice to be placed 8th.

With their athletes still in the hunt for medals in boxing and, yet to commence, wrestling they can definitely aim to end up much higher than what they achieved in Beijing -- 29th.