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Track Worlds Begin In Doha & More From Team USA This Weekend

By Paul D. Bowker | Sept. 27, 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.


A Midnight Marathon Opens The Finals At Track Worlds In Doha


Here’s a race where the clock really will strike midnight.

The world’s best women’s marathoners will help usher in the IAAF World Championships on the opening day of competition Friday with a marathon that will start at midnight, local time.

The men will do the same thing a week later.

The reason? The heat of Doha, Qatar. With daytime high temperatures expected to reach 100, the marathons will be run in the middle of the night, when temps should dip to the high 80s or at least 90 degrees. Runners will negotiate a looped, lighted course that takes them along the waterfront of Doha.

Roberta Groner of the U.S., a 41-year-old who finished 12th in the 2018 NYC Marathon and posted a personal-best time of 2:29:09 this year in Rotterdam, Netherlands, is among the female marathoners. Joining her are Kelsey Bruce, who finished sixth in the 2019 Houston Marathon, and Carrie Dimoff.

The opening weekend includes six finals on Saturday and five more on Sunday.

All eyes Saturday will be on Olympian Christian Coleman, the 2017 world silver medalist in the men’s 100-meter, who has the fastest time in the world this year at 9.81 seconds. Only six men have ever run faster than Coleman, though one of them is fellow American Justin Gatlin, a five-time Olympic medalist and the defending world champion, who is also in Doha. He has the fourth fastest time so far this year.

On Sunday, defending world champion Tori Bowie goes for another win in the women’s 100-meter, while two-time Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor goes after a fourth world title in men’s triple jump. Will Claye, a three-time Olympic and three-time world medalist, joins him.

The world championships continue through Oct. 6.

TV: 9:30 a.m. ET Friday, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Sunday, NBCSN; 5 p.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Olympic Channel; 2:30 p.m. Saturday, noon Sunday, NBC

Webcast: 9:10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Friday, 9:05 a.m., 12, 1:15, 4 p.m. Saturday, 12:15, 2:20, 1:15, 4 p.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App

Follow along on social: USA Track and Field on Twitter, IAAF Doha 2019 on Twitter and Justin Gatlin on Instagram.


2019 World Champ Chloé Dygert Owen Leads Team USA Into Road Races


Chloé Dygert Owen, who qualified for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with her record world championship win in the women’s time trial earlier this week, will be back on the starting line Saturday in the elite women’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, England.

Dygert Owen, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist in team pursuit in track cycling, is attempting to make the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team in both the road and track disciplines. At 22 years old, she was the youngest cyclist, female or male, to win the elite time trial at the world championships.

She is among seven American women ready to go in Saturday’s road race, which covers 150 kilometers. Joining Dygert Owen are Ruth Winder, Leah Thomas, Katharine Hall, Leigh Ann Ganzar, Coryn Rivera and Tayler Wiles.

Racing in Sunday’s elite men’s road event are Alex Howes, Lawson Craddock, Chad Haga and Neilson Powless. The men’s race is 285 kilometers.

As many as two U.S. men and two U.S. women could earn 2020 Olympic berths in the road race should they finish on the podium this weekend.

TV: 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday, 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Olympic Channel

Webcast: 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 3:30 a.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App

Follow along on social: USA Cycling on Twitter, UCI Cycling on Twitter and Cholé Dygert Owens on Instagram.

Alise Willoughby Goes For BMX Supercross World Cup Title In Argentina


The BMX supercross world cup season championship comes down to two rounds of action this weekend in Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

Alise Willoughby, a two-time Olympian who won her second world championship this year, chases after Laura Smulders of the Netherlands for the women’s season title in Rounds 9 and 10 of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup on Saturday and Sunday.

Willoughby defeated Smulders to win the world championship in July but lost the last two world cup races to Smulders two weeks ago in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Smulders leads Willoughby by just 60 points, 970 to 910, entering this week’s action. A first-place finish is worth 150 points.

Willoughby is also second to Smulders in the overall UCI BMX rankings by 130 points. Willoughby has finished second or third in her last six world cup competitions. Felicia Stancil of the U.S. is ranked fourth.

U.S. men’s riders include 2016 Olympian and 2017 world champion Corben Sharrah, who is ranked fourth, and Connor Fields, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist who is ranked 13th.

Follow along on social: Laura Smulders on Instagram, UCI BMX Supercross on Twitter and Alise Willoughby on Instagram.

Women’s Basketball Looks To Close Out FIBA AmeriCup


The U.S. women’s national team heads into the semifinals of the FIBA AmeriCup on Saturday in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The tournament is a qualifier for a pre-Olympic tournament to be held in November, although the defending champion U.S. team has already qualified for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The U.S. won its first three games in the preliminary round by an average of 57 points, featuring strong play by two-time Olympic gold medalist Tina Charles of the WNBA’s New York Liberty and three-time Olympic gold medalist Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx. Fowles scored 22 points in an 88-46 win over Colombia and scored the first seven points of the game in a 100-50 win over Argentina on Wednesday.

Katie Lou Samuelson, a 2014 Youth Olympic Games gold medalist, came off the bench to score a game-high 16 points and grab 7 rebounds in the game against Argentina.

“We’re selfless, and that speaks volumes to our team,” Jordin Canada, a Seattle Storm guard, said. “We have so many great players on this team, and the fact that we can share the ball, and we’re very efficient, that speaks volumes, being able to share the ball, move it and knock down shots.”

The medal round is Sunday.

Follow along on social: USA Basketball on Twitter, FIBA AmeriCup on Twitter and Katie Lou Samuelson on Instagram.


Volleyball -- Women’s World Cup
The U.S. women’s national volleyball team goes after a fifth consecutive medal in the FIVB World Cup, playing its final three matches in the 12-team round-robin tournament in Osaka, Japan. The U.S. won seven of its first eight matches, losing only to Olympic champion China, and totaling 20 points for a one-point edge on third-place Russia. On Friday, the U.S. faces Russia in a match that may decide the silver medal. The U.S. finishes up the tournament on Saturday versus Cameroon and Sunday versus South Korea. No other nation has won medals in the last four world cups. Annie Drews, who was named MVP of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League, had 18 kills among a team-leading 23 points in a victory over Dominican Republic earlier this week.

Archery -- Texas Shootout and Olympic Trials
The second stage of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in recurve archery will be held at the Texas Shootout, a USA Archery event being held in College Station, Texas. Qualifying rounds in the Olympic Trials will be held Monday and Tuesday, following the completion of the Texas Shootout. Three-time Olympic medalist and 2019 world champion Brady Ellison is in first place in the men’s rankings with a score of 1,351 points following the first stage of qualifying in August. Casey Kaufhold, a 15-year-old rising star, is atop the women’s standings by 17 points with a score of 1,314. After the completion of the second stage of qualifying on Tuesday, the top 16 men and top 16 women (cumulative Stage 1 and 2 scores) will advance to the third stage of the Olympic Trials in Chula Vista, California, in April. The final round of the Olympic Trials is in May in Newberry, Florida. The number of U.S. quota spots in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 won’t be finalized until after a world cup tournament in June 2020 in Berlin, Germany.

Canoe/Kayak -- Canoe Slalom World Championships
Evy Leibfarth, a 15-year-old paddler who won a gold medal in women’s kayak at the Pan American Games and a bronze medal in canoe in her second world cup event earlier this year, is among the Americans competing in this week’s ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in La Seu d’Urgell, Spain. The venue was used at the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992. Leibfarth is racing in women’s canoe, as are Michaela Corcoran and Sage Donnelly. Ashley Nee, a 2016 Olympian, and Donnelly are racing in women’s kayak. On the men’s side, three-time Olympian Casey Eichfeld is among three Americans competing in canoe. Michal Smolen, a 2016 Olympian, is among three Americans in men’s kayak. The finals in men’s canoe and women’s kayak are Friday, followed by men’s kayak and women’s canoe on Saturday

TV: 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, 3 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Olympic Channel

Sailing -- RS:X Windsurfing World Championships
Pedro Pascual made the gold fleet in the final series of the RS:X Windsurfing World Championships to remain in the hunt for a U.S. quota spot for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Eight Olympic quota spots are at stake as the event heads into the final series competition, followed by the medal round on Saturday on Lake Garda in Torbole, Italy. Pascual, a 2016 Olympian, finished 48th in the qualifying round. Competing in the women’s division are Farrah Hall and Carolina Mendelblatt.

Climbing -- Kranj World Cup
Ashima Shiraishi and Kyra Condie are among nine American climbers competing in this week’s lead world cup in Kranj, Slovenia. Joining Shiraishi and Condie in the women’s competition are Alex Johnson, Maggie Hammer and Estelle Park. In the men’s competition, Sean Bailey, John Brosler, Zach Galla and Jesse Grupper are climbing for the U.S. The qualifying rounds are Saturday, followed by the women’s and men’s finals on Sunday. Lead climbing is one of the three climbing disciplines that will be combined into one competition when climbing makes its Olympic debut next year in Tokyo.

TV: 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Olympic Channel

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.