As the summer sports season wraps up, Olympian Gwen Jorgensen leads the U.S. triathletes competing for world titles this weekend on the course used during the London 2012 Olympic Games, while Olympians Casey Eichfeld and Fabien Lefevre lead U.S. slalom canoeists and kayakers into their world championships in the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, the winter sports season is heating up with an international figure skating event in Salt Lake City and the luge start championships. Check out more in this edition of the Team USA Weekend Preview.
ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final, Sept. 14-15, London
Gwen Jorgensen, who is ranked No. 1 in the world, will lead a U.S. team of five at this weekend’s ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final in London. Jorgensen and fellow 2012 Olympian Sarah Groff will compete in the women’s race Saturday, which is on the same Hyde Park course that was used at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Jorgensen won World Triathlon Series events in San Diego, Yokohama and Stockholm, totaling more wins than any other woman this year on the tour. Groff, who has finished among the top eight in three races this year, is ranked No. 13 in the world.
Greg Billington, Joe Maloy and Jarrod Shoemaker will compete in the men’s race Sunday. Maloy has a pair of finishes among the top 21 and was runner-up at the USA Triathlon Elite National Championships.
The elite competition will finish up five days of races, which has included sprint and Olympic-distance age-group world championships, junior and under-23 championships, and the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships. More than 650 Americans have competed. Three U.S. athletes won age-group gold Wednesday at the ITU Aquathlon World Championships: Heysoon Lee, Jody Kelly and Donald Ardell.
TV: 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, Universal Sports
Webcast: 3:30 a.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday, triathlonlive.tv
ICF Slalom World Championships, Sept. 12-15, Prague, Czech Republic
Casey Eichfeld, a 2012 Olympian, and Fabien Lefevre, a two-time Olympic medalist when he competed for France, join eight other promising U.S. paddlers in the ICF Slalom World Championships this weekend in the Czech Republic.
Eichfeld will race in one- and two-man canoe. He has finished first in heat races at world cup events this year. Lefevre, competing for the United States this year, has won two world cup medals and is ranked among the top 13 in both the ICF single kayak and single canoe standings.
Other U.S. paddlers include Michal Smolen, a 19-year-old kayaker who placed fifth at the 2012 Under-23 World Championships, women kayakers Ashley Nee and Dana Mann, and canoeists Micki Reeves and Colleen Hickey. Nee had a career-best 12th-place finish in the women’s K-1 semifinal at the World Cup Final.
FILA World Championships, Sept. 16-22, Budapest, Hungary
Men’s freestyle will open up the FILA World Championships Monday in Budapest, Hungary. The worlds continue with women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman through Sept. 22. The top men’s freestyle medal contender for the United States is Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs, who will compete at 74 kilograms.
U.S. International Classic, Sept. 12-14, Salt Lake City
The road toward the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games begins Friday for 2010 Olympic silver medalists ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White. The four-time world medalists and five-time national champions will skate in the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex. It is the first senior-level international competition of the 2013-14 season and is an International Skating Union points-earning event
Other U.S. skaters include U.S. silver medalist Gracie Gold and defending U.S. International Classic champion Agnes Zawadzki in the women’s competition, U.S. champion Max Aaron and world junior champion Joshua Farris in men’s, and U.S. champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir and Caydee Denney and John Coughlin in pairs.
The event also will mark the return of Caydee Denney and John Coughlin in pairs. Coughlin has not competed internationally since undergoing hip surgery in December 2012.
Evan Lysacek, the men’s gold medalist at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, withdrew from the competition due to a slight abdominal tear. He was replaced by Grant Hochstein. Ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani also withdrew because of a neck injury to Alex Shibutani. The Shibutanis were replaced by Alissandra Aronow and Collin Brubaker.
In addition, a second event, the 2013 U.S. Challenge Skate, also will be held in Salt Lake City. The U.S. Challenge Skate is an invitational for American skaters who have competed nationally at the intermediate, novice and junior levels.
ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating, Sept. 12-15, Kosice, Slovakia
Twelve athletes will represent the United States at the event in women’s, men's, pairs and ice dance. Shotaro Omori, the bronze medalist at the 2013 World Junior Championships, will compete in the men’s event, along with Nix Phengsy. Karen Chen, who last month made her Junior Grand Prix debut by claiming a bronze medal in Latvia, will compete in the women’s event along with Barbie Long. Kaitlin Budd and Nikita Cheban and Chelsea Liu and Devin Perini will represent the United States in pairs and Holly Moore and Daniel Klaber and Rachel Parsons and her brother, Michael, will compete in ice dancing. Rachel and Michael Parsons placed fourth in the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012.
USA Luge Start Championships, Sept. 13, Lake Placid, N.Y.
Julia Clukey, a 2010 Olympian, will seek her sixth title and Tucker West will try for his third consecutive national title Friday in the USA Luge Start Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y. Clukey will battle two-time Olympian Erin Hamlin and junior world champion Emily Sweeney in the women’s competition. The men’s field includes 2010 Olympian Chris Mazdzer and junior national champion Aidan Kelly.
Matt Mortensen and Preston Griffall look to repeat their doubles title. Christian Niccum, a world cup medalist, and Jayson Terdiman will team up for a shot at the title, as will the combo of national team rookies Ty Andersen and Anthony Espinoza.
Webcast: 7 p.m. ET Friday, usaluge.org
Trampoline World Cup, Sept. 13-14, Valladolid, Spain
U.S. men’s trampoline champion Jeffrey Gluckstein and his brother, 2012 Olympian Steven Gluckstein, are among five U.S. gymnasts competing in the Trampoline World Cup in Valladolid, Spain. Preliminaries begin Friday, followed by the finals Saturday.
In addition to individual trampoline, Jeffrey and Steven Gluckstein will compete in synchronized trampoline, as will the team of Hunter Brewster and Alexi Shostak. Also competing in individual trampoline will be Logan Dooley.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Sept. 14-15, Hafjell, Norway
Aaron Gwin, who finished a season-best fifth in a world cup event in August in Canada, is expected to be among the U.S. riders chasing podium finishes this weekend at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Norway. Georgia Gould, a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, is among the elite women’s racers. Competition will be held in cross country, downhill and eliminator.
Also in cycling:
Catamount Grand Prix, USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX), Sept. 14-15, Williston, Vt.
StarCrossed: A Rapha Super Cross Event, Pro CX, Sept. 14, Redmond, Wash.
ISSF World Clay Target Championships, Sept. 16-24, Lima, Peru
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock will be among six USA Shooting senior athletes competing Monday in the first round of the skeet competition at the ISSF World Clay Target Championships. The worlds continue through Sept. 24 with shooting in skeet, trap and double trap.
Hancock, a member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, won gold at the London 2012 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. He is one of five Olympians on the 30-member U.S. senior and junior team competing in three disciplines. Also competing in men’s skeet will be T.J. Bayer and Frank Thompson. Brandy Drozd, Haley Dunn and Morgan Craft will compete in women’s skeet. Finals in women’s skeet will be Tuesday, followed by the men’s finals Wednesday.
NORCECA Beach Circuit, Sept. 13-15, Mazatlan, Mexico
The United States will have two men’s teams and two women’s teams competing in the sixth leg of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit in Mazatlan, Mexico. U.S. women’s teams are Heather Hughes and Lane Carico and Allison Fleming and Traci Weamer. In the men’s tournament, the United States will be represented by the teams of William Montgomery and James Avery Drost, and Kevin McColloch and Derek Olson.
AIBA Junior Men’s World Championships, Sept. 5-15, Kiev, Ukraine
Medal-round bouts in the AIBA Junior Men’s World Championships will take place Saturday at the Kiev Palace of Sports. Daniel Gonzalez (106 pounds) and Shakur Stevenson (114) advanced to the semifinals.
Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, Sept. 12-15, Woodstock, England
Five-time Olympian Phillip Dutton is among the U.S. riders competing in the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in Woodstock, England. Dutton will ride Team Rebecca, LLC’s Ben, a 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding, in the CCI3* competition. Other U.S. combinations in the CCI3* are Cindy Rawson, aboard Mocharabuiee; Julian Stiller, aboard Sintra BK and Pandora X; Clark Montgomery, aboard Loughan Glen; and Meghan O’Donoghue, aboard Pirate.
Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp will ride HHS Cooley in the CIC3* competition.
TRACK & FIELD
USA 30km Race Walk Championships, Sept. 15, Valley Cottage, N.Y.
The 2013 USA 30-kilometer Race Walk Championships will be held Sunday at Rockland Lake State Park in Valley Cottage, N.Y. Patrick Stroupe and Maria Michta are the defending men’s and women’s champions.
Water Ski Racing World Championships, Sept. 5-14, Tenerife, Spain
Competition in the Water Ski Racing World Championships will finish up Saturday in Tenerife, Spain. Todd Haig of the United States finished runner-up to Australia’s Wayne Mawer in the second and third rounds of the men’s Formula 1 competition. Erin De Yager finished third in the first three rounds of women’s Formula 1. An athlete’s three best finishes are used to compile the overall standings after all rounds are completed. The U.S. Elite Water Ski Racing Team is seeking an 11th world title.
Also in water skiing:
Under-21 Water Ski World Championships, Sept. 12-15, Isles of Lake Hancock, Winter Garden, Fla.