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Skate America Takes The Ice, Surfers Look To Bolster Their Olympic Chances & More From Team USA This Weekend

By Paul D. Bowker | Oct. 18, 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.


Grand Prix Of Figure Skating Kicks Off In Vegas With Skate America


Nathan Chen, a 2018 Olympian and two-time world champion, joins 17 other U.S. skaters this week in Las Vegas for the glitzy start of the 2019-20 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating.

Chen, who is the first U.S. man since 1984 to win back-to-back world championships, began his 2018-19 season with a powerful performance in Skate America, winning the men’s competition by a record 41.06 points. A three-time U.S. champion, Chen begins skating in the short program on Friday.

Other 2018 Olympians competing in Las Vegas include Bradie Tennell and Karen Chen in the women’s competition, and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue in ice dancing. Jason Brown, a 2014 Olympian, and Alex Krasnozhon join Nathan Chen and in the men’s competition.

The short programs in all disciplines are Friday at Orleans Arena, followed by the free programs on Saturday.

Amber Glenn is joining Karen Chen and Tennell in the women’s competition.

The pairs competition includes Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc, who won the World Team Trophy and U.S. titles in 2019, and 2013 world junior champions Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier.

TV: 12 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Saturday, 1 a.m. Sunday, NBCSN; Noon Sunday, NBC

Webcast: 4 p.m., 5:26 p.m., 10:05 p.m. Friday, 12 a.m., 4:09 p.m., 6 p.m., 9:52 p.m. Saturday, 12:01 a.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App

Follow along on social: U.S. Figure Skating on Twitter, Jason Brown on Instagram and Karen Chen on Instagram.


Lily Zhang, Jennifer Wu Represent Team USA At Table Tennis World Cup


Lily Zhang and Jennifer Wu, who won a silver medal in women’s doubles in the 2019 Pan American Games and were teammates at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, are in the 20-woman field in singles at this week’s Uncle Pop ITTF Women’s World Cup.

Only 20 women qualified for the tournament with a maximum of two per nation. Wu qualified with a third-place individual finish in the Pan Am Games; Zhang, a two-time Olympian, was named to the field as a wild-card entry.

Both Zhang and Wu are in the first stage of competition Friday at Sichuan Provincial Gymnasium in Chengdu, China. If they finish among the top two in their respective preliminary groups, they would advance to the second, or knockout, stage on Saturday and Sunday.

Zhang and Wu were drawn into separate groups, per tournament rules.

Zhang and Wu helped the U.S. women’s team qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with victories over Canada in an Olympic qualifier two weeks ago in Rockford, Illinois. Wu has moved up to a No. 33 world ranking this year. Zhang, a 2014 Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist, is among the top 50.

Follow along on social: International Table Tennis Federation on Twitter, USA Table Tennis on Twitter and Lily Zhang on Instagram.


Surfers Meet In Portugal In Penultimate Event Of World Surf League Season


The race to secure berths in surfing’s Olympic debut next year in Tokyo is headed for a dramatic finish.

With two stops left on the World Surfing League tour, including this week’s MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, four of the top five surfers in the women’s rankings are Americans. Only two can qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team.

Carissa Moore, a three-time world champion who defeated Caroline Marks in the Roxy Pro France final last weekend, leads the rankings with 57,260 points. Lakey Peterson, who finished second last year to Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore, is No. 2, followed by No. 4 Marks and No. 5 Courtney Conlogue. Moore has won two of the last three World Surf League competitions and has finished among the top five in every competition.

The top eight in the World Surf League women’s rankings and the top 10 in the men’s rankings lock down Olympic berths after the season concludes in December in Hawaii, but there is a maximum of two per nation.

Kolohe Andino is the top-ranked American in the men’s standings at No. 5. John John Florence, who is injured, is at No 8, followed by Seth Moniz at No. 11 and 11-time world champion Kelly Slater at No. 13.

The Pro Portugal, which is being held in Peniche, north of Lisbon, and began Thursday, has a competition window lasting through Oct. 26.

Follow along on social: USA Surfing on Twitter, World Surf League on Twitter and Carissa Moore on Instagram.


Badminton -- Denmark Open
Beiwen Zhang, who is ranked ninth in women’s singles on the BWF World Tour and 14th in the world rankings, reached the round of 16 in this week’s Denmark Open, a World Tour event being held through Sunday. She defeated No. 22-ranked Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt of Denmark to reach the round of 16 for her fifth tournament in a row. Phillip Chew, a 2016 Olympian, and his brother Ryan Chew reached the round of 16 in men’s doubles after knocking off Ou Xuan Yi and Zhang Nan of China in the round of 32.

Taekwondo -- Sofia Grand Prix
Rio 2016 Olympians Paige McPherson, Jackie Galloway and Stephen Lambdin are among 11 U.S. athletes who are competing in this weekend’s World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Sofia, Bulgaria. The competition begins Friday. Olympic ranking points are at stake. McPherson is competing in the 67 kg. weight class, and Galloway is in the 67+ kg. class. Joining them in the women’s division are Monique Rodriguez, 49 kg., and Anastasija Zolotic, 57 kg. Lambdin and Jonathan Healy are competing in the men’s heavyweight class (80+ kg.). Joining them are David Kim and Damian Villa, 58 kg.; CJ Nickolas, 68 kg.; and Jaysen Ishida and Thomas Rahimi, 80 kg.

Climbing -- Xiamen World Cup
Ashima Shiraishi is a fast-rising young star in international sport climbing. One of 10 U.S. climbers competing in this weekend’s IFSC Climbing World Cup stop in Xiamen, China, Shiraishi has moved up to ninth place in the women’s world cup rankings in the lead discipline with two fifth-place finishes in France in July. She is ranked 21st in the world. Competitions in lead and speed will be held in Xiamen, with the speed finals Saturday and lead finals Sunday. Kyra Condie, Margo Hayes, Alex Johnson and Maggie Hammer join in both speed and lead. Sean Bailey, who is ranked 19th in the men’s lead rankings, is one of five American men competing in Xiamen. John Brosler, Nathaniel Coleman, Jesse Grupper and Drew Ruana. Bailey, Coleman, Brosler and Ruana are also competing in men’s speed.

TV: 4 p.m. ET Sunday, Olympic Channel

Shooting -- World Para Championships
Competition finishes up Friday in the World Shooting Para Sport Championships in Sydney, Australia, with P1 pistol and R6 rifle events. The U.S. team includes McKenna Dahl, Taylor Farmer and Xiao Gong, who each secured quota spots for the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 early in the competition. The closing ceremony is also Friday.Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.