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Olympic Weekend Preview

By Paul D. Bowker | May 18, 2012, 4:19 p.m. (ET)

 Ryan Dolan

With just 70 days remaining before the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games, American athletes are chasing Olympic nominations this weekend in canoe/kayak, rowing, boxing and shooting. Many more U.S. athletes are competing in other events around the world. Check out TeamUSA.org’s Olympic Weekend Preview for all the details.

CANOE/KAYAK

ICF Sprint World Cup, May 18-20, Poznan, Poland

Men’s sprint kayakers Ryan Dolan and Tim Hornsby will battle each other for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team at this weekend’s ICF Sprint World Cup No. 1 in Poznan, Poland. The event is the final U.S. Olympic selection event for sprint kayak.

If Dolan or Hornsby make at least the B Final in the men’s K-1 200-meter event, then the athlete with the better finish will earn the Olympic Team nomination. If one athlete makes the A Final, and the other the B Final, then the kayaker in the A Final wins the nomination regardless of time. Preliminary-round races in the event will be Saturday afternoon, followed by the finals Sunday.

“It has been an amazing journey since 2003 when I started seriously training for the Olympics,” said Hornsby, who won the event at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials to force this weekend’s race-off against Dolan, a bronze medalist at the 2011 Pan American Games. “I have no regrets. I am very excited to see what comes next for myself and the rest of the team in London.”

Also paddling in the World Cup event are Carrie Johnson in the women’s K-1 500- and 200-meter races, and Maggie Hogan and Kaitlyn McElroy in the women’s K-2 500- and 1000-meter events. Johnson has already qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team, pending nomination from the U.S. Olympic Committee. Hogan and McElroy have not because the U.S. has not earned an Olympic slot in the K-2 500-meter race. The K-2 1,000 is not an Olympic event.

On the final day of the ICF Paracanoe World Championships Thursday, Anja Pierce earned a silver medal in women’s V-1 LTA. Kelly Allen finished fourth in the women’s K-1 LTA and Ryan Padilla finished fourth in the men’s K-1 A Final.

Also in canoe/kayak:

USA Canoe/Kayak Marathon Trials, May 19-20, Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club, Gainesville, Ga.

USA Whitewater Slalom Junior National Team Trials, May 19-20, Wausau, Wis.

ROWING

Olympic Qualification Regatta, May 20-23, Lucerne, Switzerland

Margot Shumway, a 2008 Olympian and a gold medalist at the 2011 Pan American Games, will team up with Sarah Trowbridge in the women’s double sculls in a final attempt to qualify their boat for the London 2012 Olympic Games. They will need to finish either first or second among 11 crews at the Olympic Qualification Regatta, which begins Sunday in Lucerne, Switzerland.

The competition is the final Olympic qualifier, and will feature 377 athletes from 50 nations battling for 28 Olympic boat slots.

Other U.S. rowers trying to clinch Olympic spots: Gevvie Stone, women’s single sculls; Andrew Campbell and Will Daly, lightweight men’s double sculls; Sam Stitt and Warren Anderson, men’s double sculls; Robin Prendes, Nick LaCava, Will Newell and Anthony Fahden, lightweight men’s four; and Zach Vlahos (coxswain), Grant James, David Banks, Steve Kasprzyk, Jake Cornelius, Brett Newlin, Ross James, Will Miller and Giuseppe Lanzone, men’s eight.

Also in rowing:

USRowing Northeast Junior District Championships, May 18-20, Worcester, Mass.

USRowing Northwest Junior Regional Championships, May 18-20, Vancouver, Wash.

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SHOOTING

U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Shotgun, May 17-20, Tucson, Ariz.

Four spots on the U.S. Olympic Team will be at stake this weekend at the Olympic Team Trials for Shotgun in Tucson, Ariz. The competition is being held at the Tucson Trap & Skeet Club.

The trials will include action in men’s and women’s trap, men’s and women’s skeet and men’s double trap. The four Olympic spots are two for men’s skeet, one for women’s trap and one for men’s double trap. Kim Rhode, a four-time Olympic medalist, previously secured the nomination for women’s skeet. Josh Richmond previously secured one of the nominations for men’s double trap. The United States has not qualified for an Olympic slot in men’s trap.

Five 2008 Olympians will compete at the Trials, including men’s skeet Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock, Sean McClelland in men’s skeet, women’s trap bronze medalist Corey Cogdell, double trap gold medalist Glenn Eller and Jeff Holguin, also in double trap.

ISSF World Cup, May 15-20, Milan

Sarah Scherer, a USA Shooting nominee for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, and Jason Parker are among 10 U.S. Olympians and 21 U.S. shooters overall competing this week at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Milan. Scherer, a junior at Texas Christian University, placed sixth in the women’s air rifle on Tuesday.

Parker won his fifth World Cup gold medal, when he won the men’s 30-meter three-position rifle event on Thursday. Coming up is the women’s 50-meter three-position rifle, women’s 25-meter pistol and men’s 25-meter rapid-fire pistol on Friday; men’s 25- and 50-meter pistol, and men’s 50-meter prone rifle Saturday; and men’s 50-meter free pistol and men’s 50-meter prone rifle on Sunday.

BOXING

AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, May 11-20, Qinhuangdao, China

Franchon Crews, a light heavyweight, routed Hungary’s Timea Nagy to reach the finals of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao, China, and Raquel Miller also won her semifinal bout, against Russia’s Irina Poteyeva (69 kg). Tiara Brown (57 kg) defeated Bulgaria’s Svetlana Staneva. The finals for all three women are Saturday.

Christina Cruz (54 kg) lost her bout, as did Mikeala Mayer (64 kg).

Another U.S. boxer, flyweight Marlen Esparza, lost in the quarterfinals Wednesday, but still clinched a spot in the London 2012 Olympic Games. Claressa Shields lost Monday to England’s Savannah Marshall, but still earned a middleweight Olympic berth in London this summer because Marshall went on to beat Russia’s Nadeza Torlopova, which positioned Shields for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.

Meanwhile, after winning her first two fights, Queen Underwood lost by one point and now has to wait until the Olympic Tripartite Commission decides if it will grant her a spot in London.

VOLLEYBALL

FIVB World League, May 18-20, Florence

The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, which has already clinched a spot in the London 2012 Olympic Games, begins play Friday in the FIVB World League against France. The first weekend of play will be held in Florence, Italy. The U.S. men are ranked sixth in the world by FIVB and earned its Olympic slot by winning the recent NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament.

“Olympic qualifying was our first goal for the season,” U.S. coach Alan Knipe said. “With that out of the way, our coaches and players can focus on giving a strong World League performance heading into the Olympic Games.”

After facing France, the United States will play Korea on Saturday (11 a.m. ET) and Italy on Sunday (2:30 p.m.). The United States won’t play again until June 15, when it faces Italy in Lyon, France. Dallas will host the fourth round of the tournament beginning June 29.

The U.S. squad includes Clay Stanley, MVP of the 2008 Olympic Games, who had 61 points and a team-leading 10 aces and 11 blocks in the NORCECA Tournament. Outside hitter Matt Anderson had 64 points.

Also in volleyball:

National Volleyball League, May 18-19, Baltimore

U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Red vs. Blue scrimmage, May 19, Irvine, Calif.

BASKETBALL

USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team Trials, May 17-20, Colorado Springs

Diamond DeShields of Norcross (Ga.) High School, a two-time gold medalist at previous FIBA Americas and World Championship tournaments, and all 12 members of the 2011 U-16 National Team are among the 33 athletes competing for roster spots at the USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team Trials. The camp, which began Thursday, is being held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Team USA will begin defense of its FIBA U17 world championship on Aug. 17 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Jill Rankin Schneider of Monterey (Texas) High School is coach. The 12-member roster is expected to be finalized Sunday.

USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team Trials, May 18-21, Colorado Springs

Morgan Tuck, a University of Connecticut signee who helped lead Bolingbrook (Ill.) High School to three state championships in four years, is among 26 athletes trying to land spots on the USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team. The camp begins Friday, also at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

The national team will begin play in the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship on Aug. 15 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Katie Meier, coach at the University of Miami, is coach. The roster is expected to be finalized Monday and the team will open another camp May 28 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Team USA, six-time winners of the Americas U-18 tournament, has won 24 consecutive games.

EQUESTRIAN

CSIOYJ Bonheiden, May 17-20, Bonheiden, Belgium

Annie Cook, who won a team gold medal at the 2008 FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, is among five up-and-coming U.S. riders who’ll compete this weekend in the opening of the 2012 Show Jumping European Junior Rider Tour. Other U.S. riders are Jennifer Goddard, a 2011 winner at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival and Lake Placid Horse Show; Alise Oken, a sixth-place finisher at the 2012 Artisan Farm Young Rider Grand Prix Series; Lydia Ulrich, a second-place finisher in the Grand Prix Series; and Chloe Reid, a member of the fourth-place team finishers at the 2011 Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships.

The riders will compete in Nations Cup competition on Saturday and Grand Prix on Sunday. Sydney Shulman, who was on the bronze medal-winning team at the FEI North American Championships, will also compete in the Grand Prix.

Also in equestrian:

Saumur CCI3*, eventing, May 17-20, France

BADMINTON

Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, May 20-27, Wuhan, Hubei, China

Olympians Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan are among the U.S. badminton athletes who’ll compete in the Thomas Cup Finals, which begin Sunday in Hubei, China. The Thomas Cup is for male athletes, while the Uber Cup, taking place at the same time, is for female athletes.

Eva Lee, Paula Lynn Obanana, Jamie Subandhi, Iris Wang and 2012 Olympic nominee Rena Wang will compete for the United States at the Uber Cup. They won all four of their matches in the preliminary round in February. Other U.S. athletes at the Thomas Cup: Phillip Chew, Nicholas Jinadasa, Sattawat Pongnalrat and Howard Shu. Gunawan, an Olympic gold medalist in 2000 when he competed for Indonesia, is coach and Bach, a three-time U.S. Olympian, is the team manager.

Also in badminton:

USA Badminton Senior Nationals, May 16-20, Tucson, Ariz.

WEIGHTLIFTING

Pan American Championships, May 11-19, Antigua, Guatemala

Kendrick Farris, a 2008 Olympian, finished in third place in the Olympic Qualification Event and fifth in the 85-kilogram weight class at the Pan American Championships earlier this week, totaling 337 kg. Matt Bruce placed fifth in Olympic qualifying in the same class, Ian Wilson placed third at 94 kg and Mike Cerbus finished fourth at 77 kg.

The competition continues through Saturday in Antigua, Guatemala.

Shelbie Serpan set three personal records in the women’s 75-kg-plus class, and Kollin Cockrell, competing in his first international event, set two personal records, including 323 kg total at 105 kg.

JUDO

IJF World Cup, May 18-19, San Salvador, El Salvador

Competition begins Friday in an IJF World Cup event in El Salvador. Kayla Harrison, an Olympic medal contender for the United States, dominated the World Cup competition last week in Miami, winning the women‘s 78-kg weight class. Hana Carmichael also won gold at World Cup Miami, winning four matches at 57 kg.

ARCHERY

Pan American Championships, May 20-26, Merliot City, El Salvador

Competition in the Pan American Archery Championships begin Sunday in Merliot City, El Salvador. Olympic hopeful Dan Schuller is among the national team and Junior Dream Team members representing the United States. Because the final U.S. Olympic Trials shoot is just two weeks away, most of USA Archery’s top recurve athletes did not make the trip, including the world’s top-ranked men’s recurve archer Brady Ellison.

FIELD HOCKEY

U.S. Women’s Field Hockey Team vs. Canada, test series, May 19-23, Victoria, B.C., Canada

The U.S. Women’s Field Hockey Team will continue its preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games with a four-game test series, beginning Saturday, against Canada in Victoria, B.C. The United States, which qualified for the London Games by winning the Pan American Games, is facing Canada for the first time since a 4-2 victory in the Pan American Games semifinals.

“The Canadian series is part of our final preparations for the Games,” coach Lee Bodimeade said. “We are happy where we currently are and are looking forward to competing against Canada and continuing to work on areas we identified from the Australia and New Zealand tour.”

The teams will play Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

ICE HOCKEY

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

A 3-2 loss to Finland in the quarterfinals of the IIHF Men’s Worlds Championships on Thursday eliminated the United States from the tournament. Kyle Palmieri and Bobby Ryan, both of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, scored for Team USA, but Finland’s Jesse Joensuu scored the game-winning goal with 9 seconds remaining.

Team USA won six of its eight games in the tournament. The medal-round games will be played Sunday in Helsinki.

TRACK AND FIELD

Samsung Diamond League, May 19, Shanghai

Word indoor champion Aries Merritt, world outdoor champion Jason Richardson and U.S. record holder David Oliver will battle China’s Liu Xiang in the 110-meter hurdles at Saturday’s Samsung Diamond League event in Shanghai. Merritt defeated Liu at the World Indoor Championships. Others to watch are Carmelita Jeter (200), Chaunte Lowe in the high jump, Stephanie Brown-Trafton in the discus.

TV: 6 p.m.-8 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports

Also in track:

USA Masters 8-km Championships, May 19, Williamsburg, Va.

FENCING

Men’s Foil World Cup, May 18-20, Seoul, South Korea

Women’s Foil Grand Prix, May 19-20, Seoul, South Korea

A pair of fencing events will be held this weekend in Seoul, Korea, beginning with a men’s foil World Cup on Friday and a women’s Grand Prix event Saturday. Two of the leaders on the U.S. women’s team are 2012 Olympic nominees Lee Kiefer, a bronze medalist at the 2011 Senior World Championships, and Doris Willette.

Also in fencing:

Women’s Epee Grand Prix, May 19-20, Havana, Cuba

Women’s Sabre Grand Prix, May 19-20, Tianjin, China

TRIATHLON

ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships, May 19, Pelham, Ala.

Shonny Vanlandingham and Emma Garrard, both world medalists in 2011, will be among 22 elite U.S. women and men competing Saturday in the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Pelham, Ala. Vanlandingham won a silver medal at last year’s event and Garrard won bronze. The 11-member U.S. men’s elite squad includes Josiah Middaugh, who finished fourth at the 2011 cross worlds and was second in the XTERRA Pro Standings.

The event features a 1.5-kilometer swim, 30-km mountain bike race and 10-km trail run in Oak Mountain State Park, which is located outside Birmingham, Ala.

CYCLING

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, cross country, May 19-20, La Bresse, France

Georgia Gould, who finished fourth last week in the third round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in the Czech Republic, will lead the U.S. riders to this weekend’s World Cup event in La Bresse, France. Other U.S. riders include Heather Irmiger, Mary McConneloug, Lea Davison and Judy Freeman.

Also in cycling:

Giro d’Italia, May 5-27, Italy

TV: 4 and 9 p.m. ET Friday, Universal Sports; 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, Universal Sports

Fleche du Sud, May 16-20, Luxembourg

Ronde Isard, May 17-20, France

WATER POLO

Fisher Cup, May 19-20, San Diego

The U.S. Men’s Junior National Team will be among the club teams playing in the two-day Fisher Cup at UC-San Diego. The tournament also includes the nation’s top water polo teams from the New York Athletic Club, Olympic Club and Newport Water Polo Foundation.

WRESTLING

Curby Cup, May 19, LaGrange, Ill.

The U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman Team will face the Greco-Roman team from Georgia in the Curby Cup on Saturday at Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. Georgia’s lineup will include 2008 Olympian Lasha Gogitadze and 2011 world silver medalist Manuchar Tskhadaia.

Among the U.S. wrestlers will be Ellis Coleman, a winner at the U.S. Olympic Trials who attended high school at nearby Oak River-Forest Hills High School. Coleman considers the late Jacob Curby a role model. Curby, a two-time USA Wrestling national-team member, died in 2010 at age 25.

TAEKWONDO

USA Taekwondo Western Regional Qualifier, May 19-20, San Jose, Calif.

Nearly 450 athletes will compete in poomsae and sparring disciplines Saturday and Sunday at the USA Taekwondo Western Regional Qualifier. The competition will be held at the San Jose Convention Center.

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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