Five For Friday: July 11, 2014

By Paul D. Bowker | July 11, 2014, 2:19 p.m. (ET)

Michael Phelps trains in the pool ahead of the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte at Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center on May 15, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

From Glasgow, Scotland, to Athens, Georgia, U.S. Olympic gold medalists will be out to secure top performances this weekend. The IAAF Diamond League meet in Glasgow will include Allyson Felix, Carmelita Jeter and Aries Merritt. In Athens, swimming stars Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will compete in the Bulldog Grand Slam. And that’s not all. Gwen Jorgensen, the top-ranked woman in the ITU World Triathlon Series, seeks another top finish in Hamburg, Germany, and the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, ranked No. 2 in the world, takes on No. 1 Brazil in Hawaii.

As we ready for the weekend, here’s a look at five events to follow:

1) Swimming

The four-day Bulldog Grand Slam swimming meet in Athens, Georgia, certainly has star power in Olympic gold medalists Allison Schmitt, Tyler Clary and Cullen Jones, among others.

At the top of the marquee, however, are 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps and 11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte.

Phelps, a four-time Olympian, will continue his comeback tour at the Bulldog Grand Slam in preparation for the national championships and Pan Pacific Championships. Lochte, who is recovering from a knee injury due to a freak incident with a fan in November 2013, will compete for the first time since a grand prix event in April.

Phelps has gotten stronger since swimming in grand prix events this year. He finished among the top three in four events two weeks ago at the Santa Clara Grand Prix, including tying for first in the 100 butterfly. He is a three-time Olympic gold medalist in that event.

Both Phelps and Lochte are entered in the 100 fly Friday, 100 backstroke Saturday and 100 freestyle Sunday. Lochte is entered in four additional events, but it is not known whether he will compete in all seven events.

Schmitt, a five-time medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games and a Georgia grad, is one of the leading swimmers in the women’s 200 and 100 free.

The meet, hosted by the Athens Bulldog Swim Club, began Thursday at the University of Georgia’s Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens.

2) Track & Field

Olympic champions Aries Merritt, Allyson Felix and Carmelita Jeter are among 22 world champions and 25 Olympic and Paralympic gold medalists expected to compete Friday and Saturday at the IAAF Diamond League Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.

Other U.S. entrants include 2012 Olympian Michael Rodgers, a silver medalist in the 4x100-meter race at the 2013 IAAF World Championships and the 100-meter champion at the 2014 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Rodgers will battle three Jamaicans and five others in the men’s 100.

Felix, who won the women’s 200 at the London 2012 Olympic Games, will race against Tori Bowie and English Gardner of the United States and five other international runners in the 200. Jeter, a three-time medalist in London, is the lone American in the women’s 100.

TV: 3 p.m. ET Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday, Universal Sports

3) Triathlon

Simply put, Gwen Jorgensen is the most dominant female triathlete in the world. No other woman has won six career ITU World Triathlon Series races. She has won three straight this year.

Jorgensen will chase after another gold-medal finish Saturday in Hamburg, Germany. Also entered in the elite women’s race is 2012 Olympic teammate Sarah Groff, who had to sit out the Chicago race two weeks ago due to a foot injury. Eric Lagerstrom is in the elite men‘s race. The mixed relay is scheduled for Sunday.


4) Rowing

Two-time Olympian Ken Jurkowski and two U.S. crews are in Lucerne, Switzerland, this weekend to compete in the third and final World Rowing Cup stop of the season. Jurkowski, who is competing in men’s single sculls, is coming off an 11th-place finish on Lake Aiguebelette, France.

Joining Jurkowski in Lucerne are Ellen Tomek and Meghan O’Leary in women’s double sculls, and Benjamin Dann, John Graves, Stephen Whelpley and 2012 Olympian Peter Graves in men’s quad. Preliminary rounds of racing begin Friday. The finals are set for Sunday.

Webcast: Sunday,

5) Volleyball

The USA Volleyball Cup will take on a Hawaiian theme for the tournament’s final two matches Friday and Saturday. The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, ranked No. 2 in the world, knocked off top-ranked Brazil twice last weekend in Southern California. The teams, which met in the gold-medal match at the last two Olympic Games, will play twice at the University of Hawaii’s Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.

Alix Klineman, starting against Brazil at the senior level for the first time, had a match-high 19 points on 14 kills, three blocks and two aces in the United States’ 25-21, 25-23, 25-20 win Sunday in Los Angeles. The U.S. squad also includes 2012 Olympic silver medalists Foluke Akinradewo, Nicole Davis, Jordan Larson-Burbach and Courtney Thompson.

Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor for