Olympic Weekend Preview: May 4, 2012

By Paul D. Bowker | May 04, 2012, 1:46 p.m. (ET)

Jose Ramirez

Team USA athletes will be vying for spots at the London 2012 Olympic Games this weekend in boxing, modern pentathlon, wrestling, volleyball and rowing, while dozens of other U.S. athletes are competing in other events around the world.

BOXING

Americas Olympics Qualifier, May 5-12, Rio de Janeiro

Seven U.S. national championship boxers will fight for Olympic spots in the Americas Olympic Qualifier, which begins Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the host city of the 2016 Games. Depending on the weight class, U.S. boxers will need to finish among the top five, or top three, in order to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Among the U.S. boxers is Olympic Trials winner Marcus Browne, a light heavyweight from Staten Island, N.Y. A two-time PAL national champion and three-time Golden Gloves national champ, Browne didn’t win an Olympic spot because he didn’t finish high enough at the AIBA World Championships. The same is true for Jamel Herring, a light welterweight, and Jose Ramirez, a lightweight. Their final Olympic chance will come at the Americas Qualifier. The other U.S. boxers are: Santos Vasquez, light flyweight; Terrell Gausha, middleweight; Michael Hunter, heavyweight; Dominic Breazeale, super heavyweight. Rau’shee Warren, a three-time Olympian; Errol Spence and Joseph Diaz Jr. previously qualified for London.

Their opponents in Brazil will be from North, Central and South America.

“If I don’t do well here, there will be no London,” Browne told silive.com. “But I don’t see why I shouldn’t qualify. I’m in shape. There are no excuses.”

ARCHERY

World Cup, May 2-5, Antalya, Turkey
TV: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET Sunday, ESPN3

Brady Ellison, the world’s No. 1-ranked archer in men’s recurve, unofficially broke a U.S. record by shooting a qualifying score of 690 in the first round of this week’s World Cup event in Antalya, Turkey. The United States had a solid start in the event, as both the men’s and women’s compound teams were tops in qualifying, the mixed recurve team was No. 2, and both the men’s and women’s recurve teams were No. 4.

Ellison lost in the round of eight on Thursday. Jennifer Nichols, Miranda Leek and Khatuna Lorig each lost in the round of 16 in women’s recurve.

MODERN PENTATHLON

UIPM World Championships, May 7-13, Rome

Six Olympic spots will be up for grabs when the UPIM World Championships in Modern Pentathlon begin Monday in Rome. More than 200 modern http://exchanges.state.gov/photos/sports/winter-programs-iceskating.htmlpentathletes from around the world, including the United States, will compete. The top three men and women finishers who have not already qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games will clinch Olympic berths.

Among the top U.S. athletes are Dennis Bowsher, Will Brady, Eli Bremer and Sam Sacksen in the men’s competition, and Margaux Isaksen, Mickey Kelly, Samantha Achterberg and Rendy Opdycke in women. Isaksen, who has been battling an injury this year, and Bowsher already qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team (pending nomination by the U.S. Olympic Committee) due to their high finishes at the Pan American Games.

The worlds begin with the women’s relay Monday, men’s relay Tuesday and mixed relay Wednesday. The individual competition begins Thursday with women’s qualification, followed a day later by the men. The individual finals will be held May 12 and 13.

WRESTLING

World Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament, May 4-6, Helsinki

Justin Ruiz will attempt one last time to qualify the United States for the London 2012 Olympic Games in the 96 kilogram weight class Sunday in Helsinki, Finland. He lost his opening-round match to Chan-Gun An of Korea in an Olympic qualifier last week in China.

Ruiz, a 2005 world medalist and 2007 Pan American Games gold medalist, must finish among the top two in order to qualify the United States for the Games. The United States is qualified in the other 17 men’s and women’s weight classes — the most qualified weight classes of any nation.

If Ruiz qualifies the slot, he’ll meet U.S. Olympic Trials champion R.C. Johnson in a best-of-three series to determine the U.S. Olympic Team nomination.

Also in wrestling:

Veterans Freestyle and Greco-Roman Nationals, May 3-5, Tucson, Ariz.

VOLLEYBALL

NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament, May 7-12, Long Beach, Calif.

The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will open play in the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament Monday, when it faces Trinidad & Tobago. The United States is hosting the tournament for the first time. Matches will be played at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif., and four matches will be played each of the first three days.

The United States, looking to qualify for its seventh consecutive Olympic Games, also will play Costa Rica Tuesday and Mexico Wednesday. The winner of the tournament qualifies for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The squad will prep for the tournament by holding a Red vs. Blue scrimmage Friday at the Walter Pyramid.

FIVB Swatch Beach Volleyball World Tour, May 2-5, Shanghai

The teams of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, seeded fourth, and Jen Kessy and April Ross, seeded fifth, swept into second-round play Friday at the FIVB Swatch World Tour’s Grand Slam event in Shanghai, China. May-Treanor and Walsh will play No. 16 Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo Mcmillan on Friday, and Kessy and Ross will face No. 24 Natalie Cook and Tamsin Hinchley of Australia.

The top-seeded men’s team, Americans Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, won its first two pool play matches Thursday. They will face No. 16 Hase Klemperer and Eric Koreng of Germany on Friday.

WARRIOR GAMES

April 30-May 5, Colorado Springs

The third annual Warrior Games presented by Deloitte continue through Saturday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The competition includes more than 200 wounded and injured U.S. military members, and for the first time competition between U.S. Armed Forces teams and United Kingdom Armed Forces teams. Earlier this week, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the Opening Ceremony. Medal-round games in basketball and sitting volleyball will be held Friday. Track and field will also be held Friday, followed by swimming competition Saturday.

For updated information about the Warrior Games presented by Deloitte, click on www.usparalympics.org.

ICE HOCKEY

ICHF Men’s World Championships, May 4-20, Helsinki

The U.S. Men’s National Team was to begin play Friday in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Men’s World Championships when it faces France at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. Team USA will also play Canada Saturday, Slovakia Monday, Belarus Thursday, Kazakhstan on May 11, Finland on May 13 and Switzerland on May 15. The medal rounds will be held May 20. Team USA defeated Sweden 3-2 in an exhibition game Tuesday.

The team includes 2010 Olympic silver medalists Paul Stastny, Bobby Ryan and Jack Johnson. Johnson has played on four national teams. Cam Fowler, a defenseman with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, helped Team USA win gold medals at the 2010 World Junior Championship and 2009 World Under-18 Men’s Championship.

“It’s an opportunity for players and USA Hockey to be able to get a look at some of the younger guys to see where they are at, knowing that the Olympics are coming in a few years and to develop the talent pool,” said U.S. coach Scott Gordon.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET Saturday, NBC Sports Network; 1:15 p.m. Monday, NBC Sports Network

ROWING

Samsung World Rowing Cup, May 3-6, Belgrade, Serbia

Eleanor Logan and Erin Cafaro, who won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, are among seven U.S. crews competing this week at the first leg of the Samsung World Rowing Cup in Belgrade, Serbia. More than 660 rowers from 43 nations are competing for Olympic spots in the competition.

Logan and Cafaro will compete in women’s pairs. A top-four finish would clinch a spot at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Also looking to clinch an Olympic spot is the lightweight women’s double sculls crew of Julie Nichols and Kristin Hedstrom. They won World Cup gold at this event last year. Ken Jurkowski, competing among 26 others in men’s single sculls, also needs a top-four finish to grab an Olympic spot. He won the first National Selection Regatta.

Kate Bertko, Kara Kohler, Kady Glessner and Stesha Carle, competing in women’s quadruple sculls, are already nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team because of their silver-medal finish at the 2011 World Championships.

The event is also the final qualification regatta for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. U.S. athletes include Dana Fink, women’s single sculls arms-and-shoulders, and Rob Jones and Oksana Masters, mixed double sculls trunk-and-arms.

GYMNASTICS

U.S. Men’s Qualifier, May 5, Colorado Springs

Danell Leyva, the 2011 world gold medalist in parallel bars and 2012 American Cup all-around champion, and world team bronze medalists Jonathan Horton, John Orozco and Chris Brooks will be among 86 elite men’s gymnasts competing Saturday in the U.S. Men’s Qualifier at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. It is the final qualifying competition for the men in advance of the 2012 Visa Championships, which are scheduled for June in St. Louis.

At least 14 men will advance from Saturday’s competition to the 42-man field at the Visa Championships, and the Men’s Program Committee may nominate more than 14. Other top gymnasts include senior and junior national team members Adrian de Los Angeles, Trevor Howard, Jesse Glenn, Glen Ishino, Jake Martin, Sam Mikulak, Sean Melton and Brandon Wynn.

2012 American Classic, May 3-5, Huntsville, Texas

Abigail Milliet, the junior all-around champion at the 2011 American Classic, and former junior national team member Ericha Fassbender will be among the senior-level gymnasts competing Saturday in the 2012 American Classic. The event will be held at the USA Gymnastics National Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas. It is one of two women’s artistic gymnastics qualifiers in May for the 2012 Visa Championships. The final qualifier will be May 26 at the Secret U.S. Classic in Chicago.

EQUESTRIAN

U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Observation Event, Del Mar National Horse Show, May 1-6, Del Mar, Calif.

Lauren Hough, a 2000 Olympian, will be among several 2012 Olympic hopefuls competing Friday in the $50,000 Surfside Grand Prix and Saturday in the $100,000 Hermes Grand Prix of Del Mar at the Del Mar (Calif.) National Horse Show. The competition is one of four observation events that will be used to determine the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team. Five rider-horse combinations from the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s long list will compete in Del Mar.

Hough will ride Blue Angel; they placed third in January at the Horseware Ireland Grand Prix. Other riders included Rich Fellers, who won a Rolex/FEI World Cup Final two weeks ago in the Netherlands; Saer Coulter, who is 14th on the long list; Karl Cook, who was on the U.S. Show Jumping Young Rider Tour two years ago in Europe; and 19-year-old Lucy Davis.

SOCCER

CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship, May 3-7, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Summer Green’s five goals helped the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team blast the Bahamas 10-0 in Wednesday’s opening-round match of the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship in Guatemala City. The United States will face Trinidad & Tobago on Saturday and Mexico on Monday. The top two teams in Group B play will advance to the tournament semifinals.

The tournament is a qualifier for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. If the United States advances to the semifinals and wins there, it will clinch a berth in the World Cup. In 10 games this year, the U-17 squad has given up just one goal and won nine times. The goal it gave up resulted in a 1-1 tie with the England U-19 team in an international friendly.

Also in archery:

London Paralympic Archery International, May 4-6, London

WATER POLO

FINA VISA Water Polo International, May 3-6, London

Maggie Steffens scored four goals Thursday, leading the USA Women’s National Team to an 11-6 win over Hungary in an opening-day match of the FINA VISA Water Polo International tournament in London. The United States was to meet Australia in its next match Friday night. Betsey Armstrong had five saves in Thursday’s victory.

The tournament, which continues through Sunday at the Olympic Water Polo Arena in London, is a test event for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The arena, one of the last facilities to be completed for the Games, features an inflatable roof made of recyclable plastic and lighted strips running along the floor of the pool to mark the 2- and 5-meter lines.

DIVING

FINA Grand Prix, Canada Cup, May 3-6, Montreal

Bianca Alvarez posted a top 10 finish in the women’s 3-meter diving event Thursday on the first day of the Canada Cup in Montreal, Quebec. Erin Mertz, in the women’s 3-meter, and Ben Grado, in the men’s 10-meter, each placed 12th.

They are among 16 U.S. athletes competing in the FINA Grand Prix event. The competition continues through Sunday. Other U.S. divers include Ryan Helms and Brandon Watson in the men’s 3-meter and Tori Lamp and Chen Ni in the women’s 10-meter.

FENCING

Women’s Foil World Cup, May 4-6, Shanghai

The Women’s Foil World Cup tour moves to Shanghai, China, this weekend. Lee Kiefer, a 2012 U.S. Olympic Team qualifier (pending nomination by the U.S. Olympic Committee), placed sixth at a Grand Prix event last week in France and teammate Doris Willette, also a 2012 Olympics qualifier, placed seventh.

Also in fencing:

Women’s Epee World Cup, May 4-6, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Women’s Sabre World Cup, May 4-6, Bologna, Italy

Regional Open Circuit, Long Island Challenge, May 5-6, Long Island, N.Y.

SHOOTING

ISSF World Cup, May 3-7, Lonato, Italy

Competition continues through Monday at the ISSF World Cup event in Lonato, Italy. The U.S. shooting team competed last week at the World Cup event in London, a test event for the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Kayle Browning was among the Americans who fared well, winning a bronze medal in the women’s trap. This week’s event comes just two weeks before the U.S. Olympic Trials for Shotgun are held in Tucson, Ariz.

CYCLING

USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, May 4-6, Ogden, Utah

The three-day USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships begin Friday with a team time trial on Antelope Island in Ogden, Utah. The championships have drawn nearly 500 cyclists from 100 colleges, who’ll chase after 18 national titles. Marian University is the defending Division I men’s and women’s champion in the time trials, and multi-discipline national champion Kaitlin Antonneau of Marion is the defending women’s champion in the criterium. Sunday’s concluding road race consists of a 101-kilometer race for the women and 125 kilometers for the men.

Also in cycling:

Peace Race, U.S. juniors, May 3-6, Czech Republic

JUDO

IJF Grand Prix, May 5-6, Baku, Azerbaijan

Competition in the Baku Grand Prix will be held Saturday and Sunday in Azerbaijan. Kayla Harrison, one of the world’s best female judokas at 78 kg, won gold at the Dusseldorf, Germany, Grand Prix and also won gold at the 2011 Pan American Games. This week’s event leads up to the World Cup event, which will be held in Miami, beginning May 10.

Also in judo:

National Youth Paralympic Judo Camp, May 5, Chicago

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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