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Gymnastics Nationals, Volleyball Olympic Qualifier, Pan Ams & More From Team USA This Weekend

By Paul D. Bowker | Aug. 09, 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 the biggest events and how to follow them on Team USA This Weekend. 

Simone Biles, Sam Mikulak Seek Wins No. 6Simone Biles competes at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Aug. 19, 2018 in Boston.

Six is the historic number that Simone Biles and Sam Mikulak are going after this week.

If Biles, a four-time gold medalist at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, wins the women’s all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships Sunday in Kansas City, Missouri, she would be the first woman to win six U.S. all-around titles since Clara Schroth Lomady won her sixth in 1952, when the AAU still awarded the national titles. Mikulak, a two-time Olympian who will wrap up on Saturday, would be the first to win six men’s all-around titles since Makoto Sakamoto in 1970. 

The national championships are part of the 2019 Team USA Champions Series, presented by Xfinity.

Biles and Mikulak are among more than 120 gymnasts seeking national titles at the senior and junior levels. This week’s event will also help determine the teams that represent the U.S. at the world championships in October in Stuttgart, Germany.

Biles, who has won four world championships in the all-around as well as the 2016 Olympic gold medal, is coming off a dominating performance in the U.S. Classic, in which she won the all-around by more than two points. Joining her in Kansas City are 12 members of the national team, including 2017 world all-around champion Morgan Hurd, fellow 2018 world team champions Riley McCusker, Kara Eaker and Grace McCallum, and two-time world silver medalist Jade Carey.

Among those joining Mikulak in the men’s competition are 2017 U.S. all-around champion Yul Moldauer, 2016 Olympic alternates Akash Modi and Donnell Whittenburg, Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist Alec Yoder and 2018 U.S. all-around bronze medalist Allan Bower.

The men began Thursday and wrap up Saturday, while the women compete Friday and Sunday. Scores from the two nights are combined to determine the national champions.

TV: 8 p.m. ET Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday, NBCSN; 4 and 8 p.m. Sunday, NBC; 10 p.m. Friday, 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 p.m. Sunday, Olympic Channel

Webcast: 1 and 6:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, usgymchampionships.com

Follow along on social: USA Gymnastics on Twitter, Simone Biles on Instagram and Sam Mikulak on Instagram.

Pan American Games Come To An End In LimaBeatrice Mompremier competes at the Pan American Games Lima 2019 on Aug. 7, 2019 in Lima, Peru.


Olympic berths are on the line for the U.S. men’s field hockey and water polo teams on the final weekend of the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

The gold-medal games in both men’s field hockey and water polo are Saturday, and the winners lock down spots for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The U.S. men won all three matches in group play in water polo, including 24-1 over Puerto Rico. The U.S. is the six-time defending Pan Am champion. The U.S. men’s field hockey team cruised into Thursday’s semifinals with a 5-1 win over Cuba in the quarterfinals. Team USA has not sent a men’s field hockey to the Olympics since 1996. The U.S. women’s field hockey team faces Chile in the bronze-medal game Friday.

Also closing in on Pan Am titles are the U.S. women’s water polo team, which is ranked No. 1 in the world and has already clinched a spot in the 2020 Games, and the U.S. women’s softball team, a three-time Olympic champion that has also already locked down its spot for Tokyo.

Water polo, softball and field hockey are among sports competing at the Pan Am Games this weekend. Others include swimming, fencing, archery, judo, wrestling, rowing, sailing, women’s volleyball, women’s basketball, track & field, and cycling.

Four U.S. fencing teams will attempt to defend their 2015 Pan Am championships on Friday and Saturday. The team competition on Friday features men’s foil and women’s saber; Saturday, it’s men’s saber and women’s epee. The men’s foil team consists of 2019 world champions and 2016 Olympic bronze medalists Gerek Meinhardt and Race Imboden, along with Nick Itkin.

Justin Dowell, the 2018 world champion in men’s BMX freestyle park, and Hannah Roberts, the 2017 women’s world champion, will compete in BMX park on Sunday.

Donavan Brazier, who is ranked No. 4 in the world in the men’s 800-meter and holds the world indoor record in the 600, is set to run in the 800 on Saturday, one of many track & field events Friday through Sunday.

In women’s basketball, the semifinals are Friday, followed by the medal round on Saturday. The U.S. won its first two games against Argentina and Virgin Islands.

The U.S. Pan Am team consists of more than 620 athletes who are competing in 36 sports. Through Wednesday’s competition, the U.S. topped the medal chart with 180 medals (73 golds).

Follow along on social: Team USA on Twitter, USA Water Polo on Twitter and Lima 2019 on Instagram.

Will Men’s Volleyball Team Qualify For Tokyo At First Chance?
The U.S. men's team celebrates at the FIVB Nations League on July 14, 2019 in Chicago.

The U.S. women’s volleyball team locked down a spot at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with three wins in an Olympic qualifying tournament last week in Louisiana.

The men’s national team is in the Netherlands this week to do the same thing.

The U.S., which is ranked No. 2 in the world, faces No. 12 Belgium on Friday, No. 24 South Korea on Saturday and No. 15 host the Netherlands on Sunday in Rotterdam. The team with the best record by the end of the tournament on Sunday clinches a spot in Tokyo next year.

The tournament in Rotterdam is one of six Olympic qualifiers taking place around the world this weekend. The winner of each tournament joins host Japan in the Olympic Games. The remaining five spots will be determined in Continental Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in January 2020.

The U.S., which won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, is coming off a second-place finish in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

“I think we have a solid base that we are going to build on,” said opposite Matt Anderson, who is attempting to make his third U.S. Olympic Team. “We hope to play together, more solidly, as a team and hopefully qualify and put ourselves in a good position.”

TV: 1:30 p.m. ET Friday, 1:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Sunday, Olympic Channel

Webcast: 1:30 p.m. Friday, 1:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App

Follow along on social: USA Volleyball on Twitter, FIVB on Twitter and Maxwell Holt on Instagram.

Climbing – World Championships
Ashima Shiraishi is among five American climbers competing in women’s bouldering, which begins the IFSC World Championships on Sunday in Hachioji, Japan. The championships go through Aug. 21 and have medal events in women’s and men’s bouldering, lead, speed and combined. Climbing will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2020, when medals will be awarded in combined. Joining Shiraishi in women’s bouldering are Alex Johnson, Brooke Raboutou, Natalia Grossman and Sienna Kopf. Men’s bouldering, including U.S. climbers Nathaniel Coleman and Sean Bailey, begins Monday.

Mountain Bike – Lenzerheide World Cup

Defending world champion Kate Courtney of the U.S. is in second place in the women’s UCI cross-country rankings entering this week’s mountain bike world cup stop in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Courtney has won three of five Olympic cross-country races this season and finished 17th last week in Val di Sole, Italy. Expected to join her in Sunday’s elite cross-country race are Chloe Woodruff, a 2016 Olympian who finished sixth in Olympic cross-country and seventh in short track cross-country last week, and Lea Davison, a two-time Olympian who finished 14th in Olympic cross-country and 13th in short track. This week’s competition is the last major race prior to the 2019 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, which begin Aug. 28 in Mont-Saint-Anne, Quebec.

Skateboarding – Vans Park Series

Tristan Rennie will seek his third consecutive podium finish in the Vans Park Series this weekend in Paris. He is the highest-ranked American men’s skateboarder in the series standings, at No. 2, following third-place finishes in Brazil and Canada. Four other Americans are in the top 10: Heimana Reynolds, No. 4; Clay Kreiner, No. 6; Jake Wooten, No. 9; Cedric Pabich, No. 10. Rennie is coming off a fifth-place finish last week in X Games Minneapolis. Three Americans are in the top 10 in the women’s rankings, led by Autumn Tust at No. 4. The preliminary and semifinal rounds are Friday, followed by the finals on Saturday at Vans-Cosanostra Skatepark de Chelles, which is located in the eastern suburbs of Paris.

Sailing – 470 World Championships
Sailing at the venue that will be used for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, four U.S. women’s crews are attempting to clinch an Olympic quota spot for the U.S. in the 470 class at this week’s 470 World Championships in Enoshima, Japan. The top six nations at the end of Friday’s medal races – that haven’t yet qualified – clinch Olympic quota spots. Through Wednesday’s races, the highest-placed Americans were the crew of Nikole Barnes and Lara Dallman-Weiss, in 28th place. The final qualifying event for the U.S. is the ISAF World Cup in Miami in January 2020. On the men’s side, the U.S. crews of Stu McNay and Dave Hughes, and Trevor Davis and Trevor Bornarth are competing. The U.S. is already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in men’s 470.

Tennis – Rogers Cup

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams and three-time Olympians Bob and Mike Bryan are among the Americans chasing down titles this week at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. Williams, who reached the finals in women’s singles at Wimbledon, was among six top-10 seeds who made it to the round of 16 in the WTA tournament. She is seeded eighth. Also alive in women’s singles was unseeded Sofia Kenin. The Bryan brothers are seeded seventh in doubles in the men’s ATP 1000 event. Joining them in the round of 16 were Taylor Fritz, who is teaming up with Kyle Edmund of Great Britain; Austin Krajicek, who is playing with Michael Venus of New Zealand; and Rajeev Ram, who is teaming up with Joe Salisbury of Great Britain. The semifinals are Saturday, followed by the finals on Sunday.

Canoe/Kayak – Sprint & Paracanoe National Championships
Lake Lanier Olympic Park, the paddling venue used in the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996, is hosting the ACA Sprint & Paracanoe National Championships this week. The competition, which began Wednesday, goes through Saturday in Gainesville, Georgia.

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.