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Women’s Volleyball World Cup Begins & More From Team USA This Weekend

By Paul D. Bowker | Sept. 13, 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.


Women’s Volleyball Begins Quest For First World Cup Title


The U.S. women’s national team is looking for a bit more Olympic momentum in the FIVB World Cup that begins this weekend in Japan.

The U.S., which is ranked No. 3 in the world, clinched a berth in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in August with an unbeaten run through a qualification tournament in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The Americans begin world cup play on Saturday (10 p.m. ET Friday) against Kenya in Hamamatsu, Japan. They also face Serbia on Sunday, the second of 11 U.S. matches in the tournament. The world cup uses a round-robin format among the 12 teams.

“The world cup is one of the three major tournaments in international volleyball, and it’s a title that our USA women have just fallen short of winning in previous editions,” U.S. coach Karch Kiraly said. “We’ll play 11 matches in 16 days, so our challenge is to play the strongest, most consistent volleyball we’ve played over a very short but intense period.”

Among the U.S. players are two-time Olympic medalist Jordan Larson and 2016 Olympian Kim Hill.

The U.S. women finished third at the last world cup in 2015 but have yet to win the quadrennial event, which dates back to 1973.

Follow along on social: USA Volleyball on Twitter, Volleyball World on Twitter and Jordan Larson on Instagram.


Kelly Slater Among Those Still Competing At The World Surfing Games


The men’s final in the ISA World Surfing Games is heading toward a dramatic conclusion in Miyazaki, Japan. The competition includes 11-time world champion Kelly Slater of the U.S. and a group of surfers attempting to make the field for the sport’s Olympic debut next year in Tokyo.

Slater is competing in the World Surfing Games for the first time since 1990 in Japan, and he won his heats in the first two rounds.

“It’s nice to be here because it brings back great memories,” said Slater, an ageless wonder at 47 who is ranked 10th in the World Surf League.

Joining him in the men’s competition are Kolohe Andino, who is ranked third in the World Surf League and won his first two rounds, and Conner Coffin, who is ranked 15th.

Carissa Moore, a three-time world champion who is atop the World Surf League standings, finished in fourth place in the women’s competition earlier this week for a bronze medal. Sofia Mulanovich of Peru won the gold medal.

The U.S. is on track to qualify two women and two men for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 through the 2019 World Surf League standings.

Follow along on social: USA Surfing on Twitter, ISA Surfing on Twitter and Kolohe Andino on Instagram.


The U.S. Olympic Team Trials Begin For Shotgun Shooting


The journey toward landing a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team begins this week for athletes in shotgun shooting.

The opening stage of the selection process for trap and skeet shooters is being held at the Hill Country Shooting Sports Center in Kerrville, Texas. Five days of trap shooting conclude with mixed team competition Sunday. Skeet competition, featuring six-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode, begins Wednesday.

The second stage of the Olympic trials begins Feb. 25 in Tucson, Arizona. Once the first two stages are complete, the shooters with the top six scores in each discipline will face off in a super final. The U.S. will have up to two shooters in each discipline, and two mixed teams.

Among those going after Olympic spots in women’s trap are 2019 world champion Ashley Carroll, who earned a U.S. quota spot with a third-place finish in a world cup stop in South Korea, and Kayle Browning, a winner at the 2018 Championship of the Americas.

Leading the charge in men’s trap are Brian Burrows and Derek Haldeman, whose gold- and silver-medal finishes in the Pan American Games locked down the first U.S. Olympic quota spots in men’s trap since the Olympic Games Beijing 2008.

Follow along on social: USA Shooting on Twitter, Kayle Browning on Instagram and Kim Rhode on Instagram.

Basketball – FIBA World Cup
The U.S. men’s national team concludes an up-and-down FIBA World Cup when it faces Poland in the seventh-place game on Saturday in Beijing. Team USA swept its first five games in China, earning its berth in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in the process, but then fell to France in the quarterfinals on Wednesday and Serbia in a consolation-round game on Thursday. Prior to this year, the team’s lowest finish at a major championship was sixth at the 2002 world cup. Among the leading scorers for Team USA are Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, who scored a game-high 29 points against France, and point guard Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics, who leads the team in points and assists per game.

Wrestling -- World Championships
Ryan Mango, the younger brother of two-time Olympian Spenser Mango, is among the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers going after podium finishes on the opening weekend of the 2019 World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. Mango, a second-place finisher in the Pan American Championships, is making his world championship debut on Saturday in the 63 kg. weight class. Other U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers competing on Saturday and Sunday include Max Nowry, 55 kg.; John Stefanowicz, 82 kg.; and Raymond Bunker, 72 kg. The finals are Sunday. The Greco-Roman competition continues through Tuesday, with Ildar Hafizov (60 kg.), Ellis Coleman (67 kg.), Patrick Smith (77 kg.), Joe Rau (87 kg.), G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg.), Adam Coon (130 kg.) rounding out the U.S. team. Wrestlers who finish among the top six in their weight classes clinch quota spots for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Competition in women’s and men’s freestyle begins next week.

TV: 9 a.m. ET Sunday, Olympic Channel

Skateboarding -- Skate Park World Championships
Heimana Reynolds of the U.S. is atop the men’s table in the Olympic World Skateboarding Ranking entering this week’s World Park Skateboarding Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil. World championships are the final competition of the 2019 season awarding Olympic ranking points. After the Olympic qualification period ends in 2020, the top 16 men and top 16 women will qualify for the Olympic debut of skateboarding next summer in Tokyo. Reynolds leads a group of six Americans in the race for the maximum of three U.S. Olympic spots. Also in the running are No. 4 Cory Juneau, No. 7 Alex Sorgente, No. 8 Jagger Eaton, No. 14 Trey Wood and No. 16 Tate Carew. Sorgente is coming off a second-place finish in the Vans Park Series World Championship. Sixth-ranked Bryce Wettstein leads four Americans among the top 17 in the women’s rankings. The women’s finals are Saturday, followed by the men’s finals Sunday.

Cycling -- BMX World Cup
This week in Rock Hill, South Carolina, two-time Olympian Alise Willoughby returns to the track where she won her first world championship two years ago. Willoughby is now a two-time world champ. She leads the U.S. riders into the seventh and eighth rounds of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, which will be held Friday and Saturday. Willoughby, who trails top-ranked Laura Smulders of the Netherlands in the world cup standings, defeated Smulders in the world championship race in July in Belgium. Other U.S. racers include fourth-ranked Felicia Stancil on the women’s side, and No. 6 Corben Sharrah, No. 16 Connor Fields and No. 26 Jared Garcia on the men’s side.

Boxing -- World Championships
Adrian Tillman, who is ranked second in the world in the heavyweight division, faces Henrik Sargsyan of Armenia on Sunday in the AIBA Elite Men’s World Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia. He is among six Americans who will fight this weekend in the preliminary round of the competition. Delante Johnson faces Luiz Da Silva of Brazil in the welterweight class on Friday. Javier Martinez, a middleweight who won Team USA’s opening bout on Monday, is back in action Saturday, along with lightweight Keyshawn Davis and flyweight Michael Angeletti. Atif Olberton, a light heavyweight who has won two national Golden Gloves titles, fights Sunday. Team captain and super heavyweight Richard Torrez Jr. faces Kumar Satish of India on Monday. The championship bouts in eight Olympic weight classes are set for Sept. 21.

World Para Swimming Championships
Six-time Paralympic medalist Becca Meyers, who set a world record in the women’s 400-meter freestyle S13 on the opening day of the World Para Swimming Championships, goes after another gold medal Friday in the women’s 100-meter free S12 in London. Competition in the world championships goes through Sunday. U.S. swimmers Sunday include two-time Paralympic medalist Mallory Weggemann going after her own world record in the women’s 50-meter freestyle S7, Leanne Smith in women’s 100 freestyle S3, and 2016 Paralympic silver medalist Sophia Herzog in women’s 100-meter butterfly SB8 and 200 individual medley SB6. Through three days of competition, the U.S. had totaled 14 medals, including two each won by 23-time Paralympic medalist Jessica Long and 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist Robert Griswold.

TV: 1 p.m. ET Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday, Olympic Channel

Para-cycling Road World Championships
Two-time Paralympic gold medalist and 11-time world champion Shawn Morelli and six-time Paralympic medalist Will Groulx are among 21 U.S. athletes racing this week in the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Emmen, Netherlands. The roster includes 13 Paralympians. Morelli is seeking to defend world titles in WC4 time trial and road race. Groulx, a three-time Paralympian in wheelchair rugby, is defending world championships in MH2 road race and handcycle relay. Among the rising stars is Matthew Rodriguez, who is making his world championship debut after winning the MT2 world cup overall title.

Canoe/Kayak -- Canoe Sprint Olympic Test Event
The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 test event in canoe and kayak sprint racing is this weekend in Tokyo. The competition, which began Thursday, includes one- and two-person racing in both canoe and kayak. Para canoe competition is also taking place Thursday through Sunday, with finals set for Sunday.

Weightlifting -- American Open Series
The Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, is host to American Open Series 3 this weekend. Competition is set for Wednesday through Friday, and is split into multiple age groups, including senior division.

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.