Penev, Whittenburg finish 1-2 on floor exercise at World Challenge Cup

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Eddie Penev and Donnell Whittenburg put up a one-two finish for U.S. men’s gymnasts on the floor exercise at the 2017 World Challenge Cup in Koper, Slovenia on Saturday.

Penev tallied 14.400 points, outscoring Whittenburg by a tenth of a point. Later on Saturday, Whittenburg, the 2016 Olympic team alternate, finished fourth on still rings with his score of 14.200 points. Arthur Zanetti of Brazil won rings with 14.850 points.

No U.S. men competed in the pommel horse final, won by Slovenia’s Saso Bertoncelj with 14.900 points.

The third U.S. man competing in Slovenia, Donothan Bailey, finished 12th and 13th on the pommel horse and parallel bars, respectively. Only the top eight men on each apparatus advanced to the final.

Whittenburg and Penev will compete Sunday on the vault, and Whittenburg will also compete on parallel bars. Sunday’s event also features men’s high bar and women’s balance beam and floor exercise. Coverage begins Sunday at 8 a.m. ET on the NBC Sports App.  http://www.nbcsports.com/live

No American women competed in the field. Larisa Iordache, two-time world championship all-around medalist from Romania, won the uneven bars with 13.800 points. Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade won the floor exercise with 14.600 points.

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U.S. Olympic 3×3 basketball qualifying teams named with former NBA player, WNBA stars

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Former NBA player Robbie Hummel and WNBA stars lead U.S. Olympic qualifying teams in the new Olympic event of 3×3 basketball.

The four-man and four-woman teams will compete in a global qualifier in India in March, each favored to grab one of three available Olympic berths per gender for the U.S.

Hummel, who unretired to become world champion in 3×3, is joined on the U.S. Olympic men’s qualifying team by Team Princeton teammates Canyon Barry and Kareem Maddox, plus Dominique Jones, who has played with Team Harlem. Team Princeton is guided by an investment firm CEO who once beat Michael Jordan one-on-one.

Last year, Hummel, Maddox and Barry (one of Rick Barry‘s sons) were part of a team that won the world title.

The U.S. women’s 3×3 qualifying roster is made up of WNBA stars Napheesa Collier, Stefanie DolsonAllisha Gray and Kelsey Plum. The U.S.’ top-ranked 3×3 player, as of last month, is Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu, who can’t play internationally this spring as she is in the thick of the NCAA season.

Olympic teams will not necessarily be made up of players from the qualifying tournament.

If the U.S. qualifies for Tokyo, it will then choose its roster(s) in a similar fashion to its traditional basketball teams — via selection committee. It’s unlikely active NBA players will be eligible.

Like with the qualifying tournament, two of the four Olympic players must be ranked in the top 10 among Americans in FIBA 3×3 rankings (as of a May 22 cutoff).

In 3×3, games last 10 minutes, or until one team reaches 21 points. Games are played on a half-court with a 12-second shot clock, and offense immediately turns to defense after a team scores.

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First U.S. sailors qualify for Olympics; gold medalist misses on tiebreak

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The first five members of the U.S. Olympic sailing team were finalized this past weekend. The last American sailor to win an Olympic title missed on a tiebreaker.

Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea (49er FX), Anna Weis and Riley Gibbs (Nacra 17) and Charlie Buckingham (Laser) qualified after world championships competition concluded in Australia. The U.S. Olympic roster across all sports is now at 43 qualified athletes.

The closest race for a U.S. Olympic spot came in 49er FX. Roble and Shea edged Paris Henken and 2008 Olympic champion Anna Tobias on a tiebreak. Roble and Shea, both first-time Olympic qualifiers, won Saturday’s medal race and earned an overall bronze medal.

That put the two U.S. duos in a tie in Olympic qualifying — combining placements from the 2019 and 2020 Championships, according to TeamUSA.org. The tiebreak went to Roble and Shea for having the better finish at this year’s worlds.

Tobias, a 37-year-old who won the individual 2008 Olympic Laser Radial as Anna Tunnicliffe, came out of retirement in a bid for a third Olympics. She left competitive sailing in 2014, took up CrossFit competitions and returned to crew for Henken more than two years ago.

“We are very sad and upset,” was posted on Tobias’ Instagram, “but we wish them [Roble and Shea] the best of luck.”

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