Rio Olympics six months out: Key trials, qualifying dates


Many U.S. athletes and teams have already qualified for the Olympics, but many more will clinch berths in the next six months.

For some sports, the qualification process is simple — individuals earn places at Olympic trials events.

For others, the process is complicated and can involve multiple qualifiers on different continents, national or international rankings and subjective or discretionary selections.

With that in mind, here’s a simplified look at the teams already qualified and key dates for Olympic trials, qualification events and ranking cutoff dates that will help shape the 2016 U.S. Olympic team:

U.S. Teams Already Qualified
Archery — men
Basketball — men, women
Equestrian — dressage, eventing and jumping
Field Hockey — women
Gymnastics — men, women
Rugby — men, women
Volleyball — men, women
Water Polo — men

Feb. 10-21 — CONCACAF women’s soccer tournament, Texas
Two finalists clinch Olympic berths.

Feb. 13 — USA Track and Field marathon trials, Los Angeles
Top three men, top three women clinch Olympic berths.

March 2-6 — Synchronized swimming Olympic qualification event, Rio

March 10-11 — Taekwondo Pan American qualification event, Mexico
Finalists qualify for Rio in each weight class.

March 21-28 — Water Polo women’s qualification event, Netherlands
Top three teams clinch Olympic berths.

March 25, 29 — U.S.-Colombia men’s soccer playoff, Colombia and Frisco, Texas
Aggregate winner clinches Olympic berth.

April 8-9 — USA Canoe/Kayak slalom trials No. 1, Charlotte

April 8-10 — USA Wrestling trials, Iowa City
Winner of each weight class clinches an Olympic berth, if the U.S. has clinched an Olympic quota spot in the class.

April 8-10 — Table tennis North American qualification event, Toronto

April 17-22 — USA Archery trials No. 2, Chula Vista, Calif.

April 18-24 — US Rowing trials, Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla.

SIX MONTHS OUT: Burning Questions | Team USA Roster | Rio Schedule Highlights | Key Qualifying, Trials Dates | Records Watch | Brazil’s Preparations

May 5 — Badminton rankings cutoff date

May 5-8 — USA Weightlifting trials, Salt Lake City

May 7-8 — USA Canoe/Kayak slalom trials No. 2, Oklahoma City

May 15 — Triathlon rankings cutoff date

May 27-30 — USA Archery trials No. 3, Newberry, Fla.

May 30 — Judo rankings cutoff date

June 6 — Tennis rankings cutoff date

June 18-26 — USA Diving trials, Indianapolis
Top two divers per individual event and top team per synchro event clinch Olympic berths, if the U.S. has clinched an Olympic quota spot in the event.

June 24-26 — USA Gymnastics men’s trials, St. Louis
The top two all-around finishers clinch Olympic spots, if they also finished in the top three on three of the six individual apparatuses. The entire team will be five members.

June 26-July 3 — USA Swimming trials, Omaha
Top two finishers per individual race clinch Olympic spots, plus extras in 100m and 200m freestyles for relays.

July 1-10 — USA Track and Field trials, Eugene, Ore.
Top three finishers per event clinch Olympic spots, if they’ve met the qualifying standard time or mark.

July 8-10 — USA Gymnastics women’s trials, San Jose, Calif.
The trials all-around champion will clinch one of five Olympic team spots. The other four will be chosen shortly after the trials finish.

July 11 — Golf rankings cutoff date
Top four Americans in the men’s and women’s top 15 clinch Olympic berths.

Gregorio Paltrinieri swims second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history

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Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri swam the second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history, clocking 14:33.10 in his native Italy on Thursday.

Paltrinieri, 25, missed Chinese Sun Yang‘s world record from the 2012 Olympics by 2.08 seconds.

The Italian now owns the second- and third-fastest times in history, including his 14:34.10 from the 2016 European Championships, also held at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.

Paltrinieri is a versatile distance swimmer. At last year’s world championships, he finished sixth in the open-water 10km to qualify for the Olympics, then won the 800m free in the pool in a European record time and finished with 1500m bronze, just missing a third straight world title in that event.

German Florian Wellbrock won the 1500m in 14:36.54 at worlds, with Paltrinieri finishing 2.21 seconds back.

Sun, 28, was in February banned eight years stemming from destroying a drug-test sample with a hammer in September 2018. Sun, who focused more on the 200m and 400m frees in recent years, did not race the 1500m at the 2017 or 2019 Worlds.

Top-level swim meets in the U.S. are scheduled to resume in November with the Tyr Pro Series.

MORE: Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15

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Bianca Andreescu to miss U.S. Open

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Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the U.S. Open, citing “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic” compromising her ability to prepare to defend her Grand Slam title.

“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu, a 20-year-old Canadian, posted on social media. “The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”

Andreescu’s absence means the U.S. Open, the first Grand Slam tournament since tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be without both 2019 male and female singles champions.

Rafael Nadal previously announced he would not defend his title, saying he would rather not travel given the global situation. Roger Federer is also out after knee surgery. Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty didn’t enter, either, citing travel concerns.

Last year, Andreescu made her U.S. Open title run as the 15th seed, sweeping Serena Williams in the final. Ranked 208th a year earlier, she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a Slam and the first teen Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Andreescu then missed the Australian Open in January due to rehab from a knee injury that forced her to retire during a match at the WTA Finals on Oct. 30. She also missed the French Open and Wimbledon in 2019 following a rotator cuff tear.

MORE: Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis competition

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