Olympic winter sport athletes are starting to kick things into full gear as some of America’s top short track speedskaters compete in their first world cup event of the season in China this weekend and figure skaters take on international competitors at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany. Meanwhile, several summer sport athletes are vying for world championship titles in gymnastics, cycling, archery, sailing, boxing and basketball, and there is plenty of action in indoor volleyball and on the beach. Get all of the details here in this edition of the Team USA Weekend Preview.
Samsung ISU Short Track World Cup, Sept. 26-29, Shanghai
Two-time Olympic bronze medalist J.R. Celski and 2010 Olympian Alyson Dudek are among 11 U.S. speedskaters competing in the first Samsung ISU Short Track World Cup event of the 2013-14 season in Shanghai.
Celski (500 and 1,000 meters), Eddy Alvarez (500 and 1,500) and Chris Creveling (1,000 and 1,500) will each compete in two events for the U.S. men. Dudek (500 and 1,000), Lana Gehring (1,000 and 1,500), Jessica Smith (500 and 1,500) and Emily Scott (1,000 and 1,500) are each pulling double duty for the women.
Steve Gough, the U.S. short track national team coach, is optimistic about this weekend and is using the world cup this weekend and the next one Oct. 3-6 in South Korea see how the United States matches up against the rest of the world.
“The athletes have all trained very hard since last season and are looking to put in positive performances as we build towards the more important events in November and the winter,” said Gough, who was promoted in August to be the national coach. “While each athlete has individual goals for their races, from a team perspective, we are putting a lot of emphasis on the relays here in Asia.”
For updated result information, check here and by following the hashtag #SkateToSochi.
Nebelhorn Trophy, Sept. 25-28, Oberstdorf, Germany
Ashley Cain and Jason Brown will make their senior international debuts at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany. Brown is the reigning world junior silver medalist. Also competing for the United States will be ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue, who won a gold medal at this event in 2011, and pairs skaters Lindsay Davis and Rockne Brubaker. This will be the international debut for Davis and Brubaker who teamed up in February.
The Nebelhorn Trophy is the final Olympic-qualifying event for those nations that have not previously clinched one spot in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The United States is already qualified in all disciplines.
ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating, Sept. 25-29, Minsk, Belarus
Polina Edmunds, the reigning U.S. junior champion, will try to earn her second gold medal of the season having already won in Mexico. Barbie Long competed at JGP Slovakia and placed fifth. Representing Team USA on the men’s side will be Nathan Chen, who also won a gold medal in Mexico, and Spencer Howe, the 2012 U.S. novice bronze medalist. Competing in pairs are Madeline Aaron and Max Settlage and Christina Zaitsev and Ernie Utah Stevens. Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter, who earned silver medals at the Junior Grand Prix in Latvia, are scheduled to compete in ice dance as are Tory Patsis and Joseph Johnson.
World Archery Federation World Archery Championships, Sept. 29-Oct. 6, Belek-Antalya, Turkey
The United States is sending a strong team to the 47th WAF World Archery Championships in Belek-Antalya, Turkey. Among the medal contenders for the United States are Olympic team silver medalist Brady Ellison, who is ranked No. 3 in the world in men’s recurve; five-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig, women’s recurve; and Erika Jones, who is ranked No. 1 in the world in women’s compound.
The United States has the top two ranked archers in men’s compound: Reo Wilde and Braden Gellenthien.
Other U.S. archers include Olympic team silver medalist Jake Kaminski and Joe Fanchin, men’s recurve; Miranda Leek and Jennifer Hardy, women’s recurve; Jesse Broadwater, men’s compound; Carli Cochran and Gabrielle Cyr, women’s compound.
For updated results, click here.
Webcast: ArcheryTV (finals only)
FIG World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, Sept. 30-Oct. 6, Antwerp, Belgium
Podium training begins Friday and the first men’s qualifying session is Monday at the FIG World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. At these post-Olympic world championships, there will only be individual competition and no team events. More than 400 gymnasts from 76 nations are expected to compete in this event.
Representing the U.S. men are 2012 Olympians Jake Dalton, Sam Mikulak and John Orozco, plus Steven Legendre, Alexander Naddour and Brandon Wynn. Mikulak is the 2013 U.S. all-around champion.
McKayla Maroney, the silver medalist in the vault at the London 2012 Olympic Games and also a team gold medalist, leads a U.S. women’s team that also includes 2013 U.S. all-around champion Simone Biles, Brenna Dowell and 2012 Olympic team gold medalist Kyla Ross. Maroney plans to compete only in the vault and floor. The women’s qualifying sessions begin Tuesday.
For updated results and broadcast information, click here.
Webcast: UniversalSports.com will have a live webcast of the all-around and individual event finals from Antwerp, which also will be available at usagymworlds.com. Live webcasts are scheduled for: Oct. 3 –men's all-around final, 2 p.m.; Oct. 4 – women's all-around final, 2 p.m.; Oct. 5-6 – individual event finals, 8:30 a.m. (NOTE: All times are ET.)
UCI Road World Championships, Sept. 22-29, Toscana, Italy
Taylor Phinney and Tejay van Garderen, who both competed in the London 2012 Olympic Games, will be among the riders in the elite men’s road race Sunday at the UCI Road World Championships in Toscana, Italy. The elite women’s race will be held Saturday.
The United States had seven top-10 finishes in three days at the world championships, including a third-place finish by Carmen Small in the elite women’s time trial and a fifth-place finish Wednesday by Phinney in the elite men’s time trial. Small and Evelyn Stevens helped their Specialized-lululemon team win a gold medal in the elite team trial. Zeke Mostov earned a bronze medal in the junior men’s time trial.
The U23 men and junior women‘s road races are scheduled for Friday.
TV: 10 a.m. ET Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday, Universal Sports
Webcast: 8:15 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday, universalsports.com
UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, Sept. 27-28, Chula Vista, Calif.
Connor Fields, a 2012 Olympian, will chase after the 2012 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup points championship in the season-ending event Friday and Saturday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Fields, who is in second place in the world cup standings, trails leader Jelle Van Gorkom by just 14 points. Fields has first-, third- and 11th-place finishes in the previous three races.
Arielle Martin, winner of world cup series in 2010, is in second place in the women’s standings. Other U.S. cyclists in the competition include 2012 Olympian Alise Post and Brooke Crain.
Also in cycling:
NEPCX Gran Prix of Gloucester, USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX), Sept. 28-29, Gloucester, Mass.
Women’s Junior/Youth World Championships, Sept. 22-29, Albena, Bulgaria
Claressa Shields, a gold medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, returned to international competition this week by scoring a pair of TKO victories in the Women’s Junior/Youth World Championships. Shields had a second-round TKO win over Mariya Vlachkina of Ukraine and a first-round victory over Fanni Kaszonyi of Hungary. Shields is among six U.S. athletes who advanced to semifinal round Friday.
The championship bouts will be held Saturday.
FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship, Sept. 26-29, Jakarta, Indonesia
Brianna Turner, a University of Notre Dame commit from Pearland, Texas, will look to win a fourth world gold medal this weekend at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship in Indonesia. Turner, the only returning member from the gold-medal-winning 3x3 U18 squad from last year, also won gold this year with the USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team and gold last year with the U17 World Championship Team. Other members of the women’s 3x3 team are Gabby Green, Arike Ogunbowale and Katie Lou Samuelson.
Larry Austin Jr., a University of Tennessee commit, and DeMonte Flannigan, a Cleveland State signee, return to the men’s U18 team after winning a silver medal at the 3x3 worlds last year. Joining them are Cliff Alexander and Dominique Collier, a Colorado commit.
49er and 49er FX World Championship, Sept. 24-29, Marseille, France
Olympic gold medalist Anna Tunnicliffe and 2012 Olympian Molly Vandemoer are among seven U.S. sailing teams competing in the 49er and 49er FX World Championship in France. Tunnicliffe and Vandemoer, silver medalists in the 49er FX class at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami this past January, are the top-ranked members of the U.S. Sailing Team Top-Sider in the FX class. Tunnicliffe won the gold medal in the Laser Radial at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Also in sailing:
U.S. Offshore Sailing Championships, Sept. 27-29, Annapolis, Md.
NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship, Sept. 23-29, Langley, B.C., Canada
The U.S. men’s national team advanced directly into the semifinal round Friday of the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship after winning its first two matches in preliminary-round play. A 25-19, 25-17, 25-9 victory Tuesday against the Dominican Republic clinched the Group A No. 1 seed.
The medal round is set for Saturday in Langley, B.C. The winner of the tournament qualifies for the FIVB Grand Champions Cup, which will be held in November in Japan.
Outside hitter Reid Priddy, who was playing in his first full competitive match with the national team since the London 2012 Olympic Games, led the United States with 15 points and 11 kills in the win over the Dominican Republic.
“It’s fun to get out there,” Priddy said. “I really like what’s going on. I like the staff. I like the environment.”
AVP Tour, Santa Barbara Open, Sept. 27-29, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings will team up with 2012 Olympic silver medalist April Ross in the Santa Barbara Open AVP Tour event. Walsh Jennings and her longtime Olympic partner Misty May-Treanor (now retired from competition) lost to Ross and her previous partner, Jennifer Kessy, in last year’s title match. Walsh Jennings and Ross are making their AVP Tour debut as a team together and have hopes of playing together at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
The men’s tournament includes the teams of Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal, and Todd Rogers and Ryan Doherty.
Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final, Sept. 27-29, Barcelona
Two-time Olympic gold medalists Beezie Madden and McLain Ward are among five U.S. riders looking for more podium finishes at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final in Barcelona. The competition, which is a part of the CSIO5* Barcelona, begins Friday with the qualifying sessions. The top eight teams advance to Sunday’s finals.
Madden, a three-time Olympian who is ranked No. 2 in the world in the Longines FEI Rankings, will ride Abigail Wexner’s Simon and Cortes ‘C.’ Ward, a three-time Olympian and a gold medalist at the 2011 Pan American Games, will be aboard Rothchild and Zander. The other three U.S. riders are Lucy Davis, Katie Dinan and Reed Kessler, a 2012 Olympian. Dinan was a late replacement for 2008 Olympic gold medalist Laura Kraut, who withdrew from the competition when Cherry Knoll Farm’s Cedric was injured at CSI5* Lausanne.
Also in equestrian:
USEF National Open Horse Trial Championship, Sept. 26-28, Texas Rose Horse Park, Tyler, Texas
Pan American Cup, Sept. 21-28, Mendoza, Argentina
The medal round in the Pan American Cup will be held Saturday in Mendoza, Argentina. The U.S. Women’s National Team swept into the semifinals by winning all three games in pool play, including a 6-1 victory Tuesday over Uruguay.
The winner of the tournament clinches a spot in the 2014 World Cup. The top six teams qualify for the 2017 Pan American Cup. The United States won silver in 2009. Among the team members are two-time Olympian Rachel Dawson and 2012 Olympian Michelle Kasold.
IJF Grand Prix, Sept. 28-29, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Akbarzhan Iminov will represent the United States at an IJF Grand Prix tournament in Kazakhstan. The competition begins Saturday. Iminov competes in the men’s 100-kilograms-plus weight class.
Junior Pan American Championships, Sept. 26-29, Tucson, Ariz.
USA Diving will have 24 athletes among an estimated 150 divers from 10 nations at the Junior Pan American Championships in Tucson, Ariz. The United States is hosting the event for the first time since 2005. U.S. divers include Bradley Christensen, David Dinsmore, Steele Johnson and Chris Law in the 16-18 boys class, and Mackenzie Willborn, Eszter Pryor and Emma Villarreal in the 16-18 girls class.
US Slalom Nationals, Sept. 28-29, Bryson City, N.C.
The nation’s top slalom athletes will compete for titles Saturday and Sunday at the US Slalom Nationals in North Carolina. The event is a qualifier for the U-23 and junior national teams.