Tiny nations lead in alternative gold medal count

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Associated Press

Posted on August 7, 2012 at 2:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 7 at 2:01 AM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Forget about the Olympic medal race between the United States and China. The real action is happening in places like Jamaica, New Zealand and Grenada.

At least that's according to an alternative method for crunching the numbers being promoted by a New Zealand government agency. Statistics New Zealand has been posting daily updates of its "medal strike rate" — the number of gold medals won relative to each country's population.

Many small countries do well under the measure. New Zealand won three gold medals in rowing, propelling it to the top of the table before Usain Bolt put Jamaica on top. Then came Grenada. A win in the 400 meters final gave it a seemingly unassailable lead on the alternative table: one gold medal for every 109,000 residents.

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