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U.S. Olympic boxing team closer to being named after trials

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A U.S. Olympic boxing team that will be exclusively first-time Olympians is closer to being named.

A total of 27 boxers advanced from the Olympic trials in a complicated process that will likely be finalized at a last-chance global qualifying tournament in May in Paris.

Before that, every Olympic trials finalist from the eight men’s divisions and five women’s divisions goes into the new year with a chance at the Tokyo Games. Plus super heavyweight Richard Torrez Jr., who missed trials with a medical exemption.

But the U.S. is not guaranteed any Olympic boxing spots.

A training camp and international tournament in January will determine the one boxer per division (13 total) who will then compete internationally to clinch an Olympic berth.

Each may get two chances to qualify — a North and South American tournament in Buenos Aires from March 26-April 3 and the global event in Paris two weeks later.

The best U.S. Olympic medal hopes include flyweight Ginny Fuchs, who won her second straight trials title. Four years ago, Fuchs failed to secure her spot at the Rio Games in international qualifiers.

Instead, she went to Brazil as a sparring partner for qualified U.S. women and couldn’t bear to watch the Opening Ceremony from off-site. Fuchs, a 2018 World bronze medalist, skipped this year’s world championships to manage obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Keyshawn Davis was the only U.S. male or female boxer to make a final in an Olympic division at the world championships this year, taking lightweight silver. Davis, 20, won trials after his scheduled final opponent missed the bout for medical reasons.

None of the more than 100 boxers who competed at trials at the Golden Nugget Casino and Resort in Lake Charles, La., had Olympic experience. Stars from Rio, including gold medalist Claressa Shields and silver medalist Shakur Stevenson, have turned pro.

A full list of the 27 boxers who advanced from trials:

Men
Flyweight
Abraham Perez (trials champion)
Anthony Herrera

Featherweight
Bruce Carrington (trials champion)
David Navarro

Lightweight
Keyshawn Davis (trials champion)
Ernesto Mercado

Welterweight
Delante “Tiger” Johnson (trials champion)
Freudis Rojas Jr.

Middleweight (Monday box-off)
Joseph Hicks
Javier Martinez

Light Heavyweight
Rahim Gonzales (trials champion)
Atif Olberton

Heavyweight (Monday box-off)
Jamar Talley
Darius Fulghum

Super Heavyweight
Antonio Mireles (trials champion)
Jeremiah Milton
Richard Torrez Jr. (medical exemption)

Women
Flyweight
Ginny Fuchs (trials champion)
Christina Cruz

Featherweight (Monday box-off)
Lupe Gutierrez
Andrea Medina

Lightweight
Rashida Ellis (trials champion)
Amelia Moore

Welterweight
Oshae Jones (trials champion)
Briana Che

Middleweight
Naomi Graham (trials champion)
Morelle McCane

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Federica Brignone passes Mikaela Shiffrin for World Cup overall lead

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Italian Federica Brignone passed an absent Mikaela Shiffrin for the World Cup overall standings lead by winning a combined in Switzerland on Sunday.

Brignone prevailed by .92 of a second adding times from super-G and slalom runs in Crans-Montana. Full results are here.

Brignone moved 73 points ahead of Shiffrin in the overall through 29 of 40 scheduled races. A race winner receives 100 points on a descending scale through the 30th-place finisher. The season runs through March 22.

Shiffrin, the three-time reigning World Cup overall champion, has not competed since the unexpected death of her father on Feb. 2. She has not announced if or when she will return this season.

Brignone, 29, is having a career season with five wins and 10 podiums across four disciplines.

Brignone’s best previous World Cup overall standings finish was fifth. She earned giant slalom medals at the 2018 Olympics (bronze) and 2011 World Championships (silver).

She could become Italy’s first female World Cup overall champion. The last Italian male winner was Alberto Tomba in 1995.

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup moves to La Thuile, Italy, for a super-G and a combined next Saturday and Sunday.

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Jade Carey on brink of becoming first gymnast to qualify for U.S. Olympic team

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The U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials aren’t until late June, but Jade Carey is in position to qualify for the Tokyo Games in March.

Carey, seeking an individual Olympic gymnastics spot outside of the team competition, earned the maximum points in a World Cup series that is one path to Olympic qualification.

Carey has three wins each on floor exercise and vault with two World Cups left in March. Carey will mathematically clinch an Olympic spot if no other gymnasts earn maximum points on one of the apparatuses to force a tiebreaker.

A gymnast’s top three finishes across the eight-stop series count in Olympic qualifying. If Carey finishes atop the floor or vault standings, she goes to the Olympics.

Carey picked up those third wins on floor and vault at the sixth World Cup in Melbourne, Australia, this weekend.

So far, no other gymnast has two wins on floor. One other gymnast can get to the maximum points on vault with one win between the last two stops (and others with two).

The one downside to qualifying this route: Carey would not be able to compete in the team competition at the Olympics. Those four spots will be determined at and after June’s trials in St. Louis, with Simone Biles likely grabbing one of them.

“I knew I would be giving up being on the team,” Carey said in October of going the World Cup route, “but I think, for me, it made sense to just go for it.”

Carey is a world medalist on vault and floor, but she doesn’t have the all-around credentials of Biles and some other U.S. gymnasts.

Olympic team event roster sizes were cut from five to four for Tokyo, putting a greater onus on all-around prowess given a team must put three gymnasts on each apparatus in the Olympic final.

The U.S. is the deepest country in women’s gymnastics, so the only truly safe pick to make the four-woman Olympic team event roster is Biles.

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