By Paul D. Bowker | April 19, 2019, 12:01 a.m. (ET)

As you settle into your weekend, Team USA athletes are getting ready to compete all around the world. Keep track of some of the biggest events and how to follow them on Team USA This Weekend.


Olympians Cory Christensen, John Shuster Team Up At Mixed Doubles World Champs
John Shuster competes at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 16, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.

 

Cory Christensen and John Shuster, both 2018 Olympians and members of the Duluth Curling Club in Minnesota, make their mixed doubles world championship debut on Saturday in Stavanger, Norway.

Neither is new to the international stage. Shuster, a four-time Olympian and eight-time world team member in men’s curling, led the U.S. to its first Olympic gold medal in 2018. Christensen finished fifth at the 2017 women’s world championships, finished eighth with the U.S. women’s squad at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and was on the junior world team five times.

Christensen and Shuster begin pool play in the tournament on Saturday against Poland and Sunday against Latvia. They’ll play in seven preliminary round matches through Thursday. The playoffs are April 26, followed by the medal round on April 27.

They are one of 48 teams in the world championships. Switzerland has won seven of the previous 11 world titles.

TV: 11:45 a.m. ET Sunday, Olympic Channel; 10:30 p.m. ET Sunday, NBCSN

Follow along on social: USA Curling on Instagram, John Shuster on Twitter and World Curling on Twitter 


Women’s Rugby Continues Battle Toward Olympic Qualification At Kitakyushu Sevens
The U.S. women's sevens team form a huddle at the Sydney HSBC Sevens on Feb. 1, 2019 in Sydney.

The U.S. women’s sevens team, which has won medals in two of its first three tournaments this season, continues its chase after a 2020 Olympic berth this week in the Kitakyushu Sevens.

The USA Women’s Eagles Sevens, who have already matched their previous season high in medals, enter the fourth stop of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in second place. The Eagles trail only New Zealand and are two points up on Canada and Australia. The top four teams at the end of the season secure berths for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Rising star Kristi Kirshe is coming off a tournament in which she scored five tries in her World Rugby Sevens Series debut in Sydney, helping the U.S. to a third-place finish. Naya Tapper became the team’s all-time leading scorer with her 65th career try.

“We’ve had a number of players step up this season, which is what all coaches hope for, especially 18 months out from the Olympics,” U.S. coach Chris Brown said. “It’s important we don’t get ahead of ourselves, however, and remember that with less experience there will be tough games and sometimes even tougher tournaments as our newer players learn all that comes with international competition.”

The U.S. faces England, Fiji and Ireland in pool play on Saturday. The playoff round and championship match are on Sunday.

Follow along on social: USA Rugby on TwitterWorld Rugby Sevens on Twitter and Kristi Kirshe on Instagram


Table Tennis – World Championships

Two-time Olympian Lily Zhang, and 2016 Olympians Kanak Jha and Yue “Jennifer” Wu are among the U.S. athletes ready to begin play at the 2019 World Table Tennis Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The early rounds begin Sunday. Jha has risen to No. 38 in the men’s world rankings. Competition will be held in men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. The finals are scheduled to be held over three days, April 26-28. In addition to Jha, Zhang and Wu, the U.S. entrants include Youth Olympian Amy Wang, Crystal Wang and Angela Guan in the women’s tournament, and Victor Liu, Nicholas Tio and Nikhil Kumar on the men’s side.

Women’s and Men’s Surfing – Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

Olympic hopefuls Caroline Marks, the winner in the opening event of the 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour, and Lakey Peterson, the runner-up finisher in last year’s points race, are among the American surfers competing in the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach competition in Australia. Early rounds are scheduled to be held this weekend at Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia. The competition window goes through April 27. Among the U.S. men is longtime world surfer Kelly Slater, who won the event in 2010, and Kolohe Andino, who finished runner-up at the Quicksilver Pro Gold Coast earlier this month.

Cycling – BMX Freestyle Hiroshima

Perris Benegas, the 2018 UCI BMX freestyle world champion, and Kevin Peraza, a two-time X Games winner, are among the U.S. cyclists competing in the season-opening UCI BMX freestyle world cup in Hiroshima, Japan. The qualification rounds for elite riders are Friday, followed by the semifinals on Saturday and finals on Sunday.

TV: 10 p.m. ET Sunday, Olympic Channel


Climbing – FISE World Series Hiroshima

Josh Levin and Colin Wills are competing in this weekend’s FISE World Series bouldering event in Hiroshima, Japan. In addition to climbing, the event also includes the world cup in BMX freestyle cycling. Qualification rounds in bouldering are Friday, followed by the semifinals and finals on Saturday.

Rhythmic Gymnastics – Tashkent World Cup

Laura Zeng, a 2016 Olympian, and Lili Mizuno are competing in this week’s world cup for rhythmic gymnastics in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Qualification rounds for hoop and ball are Friday, followed by qualifying in clubs and ribbon on Saturday. Those rounds will determine the all-around winners. The event finals, featuring the top individuals in each event during qualifying, are Sunday. Zeng was a bronze medalist in the all-around at the Summer Youth Olympic Games Nanjing 2014, where she became the first U.S. rhythmic gymnast to win a medal at the Olympic Games or Youth Olympic Games.

TV: 8 p.m. ET Sunday, Olympic Channel


Sailing – Hempel World Cup Series

Olympic hopefuls Ravi Parent and Caroline Atwood were off to a fast start in this week’s Hempel World Cup Series regatta being held in Genoa, Italy. The duo had a second-place finish in the Nacra 17 fleet early in the week and was tied for third place after three races. They are among 20 U.S. crews competing in the regatta, which concludes Sunday with medal races in Laser, Laser Radial, Finn and the 470s classes. Saturday’s scheduled medal races include Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX. Contending for a medal in 49erFX class are Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea, who were in fourth place after three races.

Karate – Premier League

Pan American Games gold medalist Thomas Scott is among the U.S. athletes who are competing this week in Rabat, Morocco, which is the third stop on the World Karate Federation’s Karate1 Premier League. Scott competes in the men’s kumite 75 kg. class. Other Americans entered in the tournament include: Maya Wasowicz, women’s kumite 68 kg.; Elisa Fonseca and Ashley Hill, women’s kumite 61 kg.; Tyler Hudson and Shannon Nishi, women’s kumite 50 kg.; Jessica Kwong and Sakura Kokumai, women’s kata; Jared Smith, men’s kumite 75 kg.; and Kamran Madani, men’s kumite 84 kg.

 

Gymnastics - Trampoline World Cup Minsk
Eight members of the U.S. trampoline team will head to Minsk, Belarus, for the second world cup event of the season. The world cup circuit serves as one of the methods for nations to earn quota spots for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Olympian Nicole Ahsinger headlines the U.S. team, along with Youth Olympian Cody Gesuelli, Jeffrey Gluckstein, Isaac Rowley, Aliaksei Shostak, Olivia Simpson, Jessica Stevens and Sarah Webster.  At the world cup in Baku in February, the synchro team of Gesuelli and Rowley took home a bronze medal. Qualification rounds in Minsk begin Saturday, with finals on Sunday.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.