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Olympic Weekend Preview: July 20, 2012

By Paul D. Bowker | July 20, 2012, 11 a.m. (ET)
LebronLeBron James and the USA Men's Basketball team have 2 exhibition games left before the London Olympic Games.

BASKETBALL

USA Basketball Men’s National Team vs. Argentina and Spain, July 22-24, Barcelona

The USA Basketball Men’s National Team will finish off its preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games with a pair of exhibition games in Barcelona on Sunday and Tuesday. Team USA will meet Argentina, ranked No. 3 in the world by FIBA, on Sunday, and then face No. 2 Spain on Tuesday at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona.

Deron Williams of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks each scored 19 points in an impressive 118-78 win Thursday over Great Britain in Manchester, England. The United States has won three consecutive exhibition games since assembling in training camp once the NBA season concluded.

“The chemistry is getting better and better with each game and each practice,” said LeBron James the MVP of the NBA champion Miami Heat and a gold medalist in 2008, who scored 16 points and had four assists in the win over Great Britain. “We are taking full advantage of every opportunity we get together. So, you know, it’s looking good right now.”

“Argentina will be another test for us,” Anthony added. “Then, of course, everybody wants to see the Spain matchup, so we’re getting prepared for that.”

The United States, coached by Duke University’s Mike Krzyzewski, will open Olympic play July 29 against France.

TV: Midnight ET Monday, ESPN2; 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, ESPN2

USA Basketball Women’s National Team vs. Croatia and Turkey, July 21-22, Istanbul, Turkey

The USA Basketball Women’s National Team will face Croatia in a pre-Olympic exhibition game Saturday in Istanbul, Turkey. The United States also will play Turkey Sunday.

Maya Moore scored 18 points and had five assists in Team USA’s 88-63 win over Great Britain in an exhibition game Tuesday played in Manchester. The United States came from 11 points down to defeat the Brits.

“It might have been the best thing that happened to us, to be honest with you, to get down, 10, 11 at one time,” U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said,  “because sometimes when you’re the U.S. and you’re constantly playing from ahead, you never get an opportunity to play from behind and see how you respond. It might have been good for us that that happened.”

Point guard Sue Bird, a three-time Olympian who returned to New York last week due to a death in the family, is expected to return to the team in time for the game Saturday.

The United States, four-time defending gold medal champ, begins Olympic play July 28 against Croatia.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

A1 Smart Grand Slam presented by Ergo, FIVB Swatch World Tour, July 17-22, Klagenfurt, Austria

U.S. Olympic gold medalists Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers won their first two matches Thursday at the A1 Smart Grand Slam presented by Ergo, and were to face Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel of Poland in pool play Friday. Dalhausser and Rogers are the No. 2 seeds. Top-seeded Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal, also U.S. Olympians, lost one of their two matches Thursday, but were to play Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins on Friday.

The first round of elimination also begins Friday in the men’s tournament. No U.S. women are left in the women’s tournament. Top-seeded Lauren Fendrick and Brook Hanson lost in the first round of elimination play Thursday to No. 32 Kristo Kollo and Rivo Vesik of Estonia.

TV: 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports

Also in beach volleyball:

USA Volleyball Beach High Performance Championships, July 18-22, Hermosa Beach, Calif.

TRACK AND FIELD

Samsung Diamond League, July 20, Fontvielle, Monaco

U.S. Olympian sprinter Tyson Gay will go after his third consecutive Samsung Diamond League win Friday as the tour moves to Monaco for its final pre-Olympic event. Other U.S. athletes expected to compete include sprinters Justin Gatlin, Carmelita Jeter, Allyson Felix and hurdler Aries Merritt.

TV: 8 p.m.-10 p.m. ET Friday, Universal Sports

TRIATHLON

Dextro Energy World Triathlon Hamburg, July 21-22, Hamburg, Germany

Sarah Groff, who will represent the United States in the London 2012 Olympic Games, will be among six Americans competing this weekend in the Dextro Energy World Triathlon Hamburg. The competition will be Groff’s final preparation for London. Groff is in 24th place in the series rankings, and placed seventh at the ITU World Triathlon Kitzbuhel in June.

Among the five U.S. men competing in Hamburg will be Lukas Verzbicas, who placed sixth last week at the ITU Tiszaujvaros World Cup. Other U.S. men: Jarrod Shoemaker, Matt Chrabot, Greg Billington, Joe Maloy.

Also in triathlon:

ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup, July 21, Magog, Quebec

VOLLEYBALL

Women’s Pan American Cup, July 12-20, Juarez, Mexico

The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team will face Brazil in the gold-medal match Friday of the Women’s Pan American Cup in Juarez, Mexico. Brazil is the defending Women’s Pan American Cup champion.

The United States is competing in the tournament without any of the players who were named to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. Thursday, the U.S. women defeated the Dominican Republic in the semifinals, 25-20, 26-24, 24-26, 25-16. Most of the Dominican Republic’s players are 2012 Olympians. Nancy Metcalf led the United States with 25 points on 21 kills and four blocks.

“We are happy with the victory for this team that I am sure has some future Olympians in four years,” U.S. coach Reed Sunahara said. “I wish Dominican Republic the best in the Olympics.”

By winning all four games in pool play and advancing directly into the semifinals, the United States clinched a berth in the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix. The United States has not won Pan American Cup gold since 2003.

SOFTBALL

ISF Women’s World Championship, July 13-22, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

The USA Softball Women’s National Team won all seven of its games in pool play and enters Friday’s playoff round of the ISF Women’s World Championship as the No. 1 seed. The medal round is scheduled for Sunday in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.

The United States will play Canada in the playoffs Friday. It completed an unbeaten roll through pool play with a 14-1, four-inning win over Argentina on Thursday. Amanda Chidester of the University of Michigan hit two home runs, extending her home run-hitting streak to four games. Team USA outscored its opponents 78-1 in those seven games.

“Coach (Ken) Eriksen always says the home runs are extra. If line drive turns into a home run, that’s great,” Chidester said.

BASEBALL

Honkbal Week, July 14-22, Haarlem, Netherlands

A combined 1-0 shutout victory by Carlos Rodon of North Carolina State University and Dan Child of Oregon State on Thursday pushed the scoreless streak by the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team to 20.1 innings in the Honkbal Week tournament in the Netherlands. The United States shut out Chinese Taipei Wednesday and Netherlands Thursday.

Next up is a medal-round game Saturday against Cuba or Netherlands.

“This was a good win, but I’m a realist and I know that we are going to have to score more runs to win this thing,” Team USA manager Dave Serrano said.

SOCCER

Northern Ireland Milk Cup, July 21-26, Limavady and Ballymena, Northern Ireland

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will open play in the six-team Northern Ireland Milk Cup on Saturday, when it faces Denmark at Scroggy Road in Limavady. The United States, two-time winners of the tournament, will then face Turkey on Monday in Ballymena. The playoffs begin July 26. Four of the U.S. players were with the Under-17 Men’s National Team for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup: midfielder Dillon Serna, goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh, and forwards Alfred Koroma and Mario Rodriguez.

CYCLING

USA Cycling Mountain Bike Gravity Championships, July 20-22, Beech Mountain, N.C.

Jill Kintner, a 2008 Olympic medalist in BMX, will be among the riders chasing after 40 national titles in the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Gravity Championships. The competition begins Friday on a dual slalom course in Beech Mountain, N.C. Kintner is defending two titles, including Sunday’s pro downhill race.

Also in cycling:

Tour de France, June 30-July 22, France

TV: 8 p.m.-11 p.m. ET Friday, NBC Sports Network; 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Saturday, NBC Sports Network; 8 a.m.-noon Sunday, NBC Sports Network; 1 p.m.-3 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC

Giro valle d’Aosta, July 16-22, Italy

BMC Cascade Cycling Classic, July 17-22, Bend, Ore.

EQUESTRIAN

Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, July 17-22, Lexington, Ky.

Individual finals in show jumping, endurance, dressage and reining Saturday will be among the featured events in the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships. The competition continues through Sunday at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Equestrians (up to 21 years old) from the United States and four other countries are competing in the three Olympic disciplines of show jumping, dressage and eventing, and the FEI World Equestrian Games disciplines of reining and endurance.

Among the winners earlier this week were the Region 5 team of Madeleine Birch, Victoria Fernald, Brandi Roenick, Devon Wycoff, who won team gold in dressage for the third consecutive year.

GYMNASTICS

Acrobatic Gymnastics National Championships, July 21-25, Detroit

Competition begins Saturday night in the Acrobatic Gymnastics National Championships. The event will be held at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Mich. Results from the competition will determine roster spots on the junior and national teams.

BOXING

Veles Cup, July 7-21, Kurgan, Russia

A 13-member team of USA Boxing’s top junior athletes will face Germany on Friday and Russia on Saturday in the final two days of the Veles Cup in Kurgan, Russia. The team competition consists of five days of international bouts. The U.S. squad includes seven Junior Olympic champions: Nico Hernandez, pinweight; Ruben Villa, light bantamweight; Efren Lopez, bantamweight; Christian Bermudez, featherweight; Alexis Rocha, light middleweight; Elvis Figuero, light heavyweight, and John Luna, heavyweight.

JUDO

USA Judo Junior Olympic National Championships, July 20-22, Irving, Texas

Bouts begin Friday in the USA Judo Junior Olympic National Championships that are being held at the Irving (Texas) Convention Center. Competition is in bantam, intermediate and juvenile divisions Friday and Saturday, with an international division to be contested Sunday.

Also in judo:

Junior US Open Championships and Training Camp, July 24-28, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

WATER POLO

US Open of Water Polo, July 20-22, Irvine, Calif.

Competition begins Friday in the US Open of Water Polo at Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine, Calif., Championship matches will be held Sunday. The tournament features the top men’s and women’s club teams in the nation.

WRESTLING 

ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet Nationals, July 14-21, Fargo, N.D.

Hunter Marko, Aaron Pico, Bo Nickal and Lance Benick are attempting to win triple-crown titles at the USA Wrestling ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet Nationals in Fargo, N.D. All four wrestlers have already won Cadet championships in Greco-Roman and Folkstyle. They enter Friday’s final day of competition in freestyle with unbeaten records. The junior finals in freestyle will be held Saturday.

ROLLER SPORTS

Indoor National Speed Skating Championships, July 14-21, Lincoln, Neb.

Competition continues through Saturday at the Indoor National Speed Skating Championships in Lincoln, Neb. Among the upcoming events are novice short and long finals in all age divisions Friday, and quad short and long finals Saturday. The competition is being held at the Pershing Center in Lincoln.

Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor for TeamUSA.org. Material from various news services and press releases from National Governing Bodies was used to compile this report. This story was not subject to the approval of any National Governing Bodies.

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