The U.S. Gymnastics Championships get underway Thursday evening in Fort Worth, Texas, a crucial stepping stone in the qualification process for Tokyo. 

The event largely determines which athletes (the top eight finishers in the all-around competition) advance to U.S. Olympic Trials, the final step in Olympic selection, three weeks later.

What to watch

Two weeks after debuting a historic Yurchenko double pike on vault at the 2021 U.S. Classic -- and practically breaking the internet in the process -- Simone Biles returns to competition seeking her seventh all-around national title. Biles was a bit shaky on bars and in her floor routine in her first competition in more than 18 months, and opportunities for tune-ups before Tokyo are waning, so she'll try to iron out those wrinkles this week.

As for who will join Biles at both Trials and the Olympic Games? Training partner Jordan Chiles has put on a strong showing this year and will be looking to bolster her status as she competes in Fort Worth, while 2019 national runner-up Sunisa Li is trying to get back on track as she works through an Achilles injury. 

2019 World Gymnastics Championships team members Jade Carey (who's already mathematically qualified for Tokyo as an individual), Kara Eaker and Grace McCallum, as well as 2017 world all-around champion Morgan Hurd and Rio alternate MyKayla Skinner, are among the other big names in the mix. 2018 Worlds team member Riley McCusker will only be competing on bars after sustaining an injury on vault at the U.S. Classic. 

Veterans Laurie Hernandez -- the only active Rio team member besides Biles -- and 2008 Olympian Chellsie Memmel are also set to continue their comebacks.

Notably, 16-year-old Konnor McClain, a rising star who became age-eligible for Tokyo when the Games were postponed, will not be competing at the national championships or at Olympic Trials and is refocusing on the next Olympic cycle. 

Team USA stalwart Sam Mikulak, a two-time Olympian also seeking his seventh all-around national title, headlines the men's competition. This national championship will be his last, as Mikulak plans to retire after Tokyo. 

Brody Malone is coming off a recent team NCAA title run with Stanford that saw him win his second individual all-around crown, and could pose a threat to Mikulak. Yul Moldauer, the 2017 national champion as well as 2017 and 2019 Worlds team member, is also set to compete.

Click here for the full list of competitors. 

On Friday, four American men are instead competing at the Pan Am Championships in Rio in hopes of securing the U.S. another men's quota spot for Tokyo. Those athletes -- Cameron Bock, Paul Juda, Riley Loos and Vitaliy Guimaraes -- are automatically qualified for Olympic Trials. 

How to watch

Day Time (ET) Network Competition
Thursday 8 p.m. Olympic Channel | STREAM LINK Senior Men Day 1
  10:30 p.m.-1 a.m.* NBCSN | STREAM LINK Senior Men Day 1
Friday 8-10 p.m. NBCSN | STREAM LINK Senior Women Day 1
Saturday 8-10:30 p.m. NBCSN | STREAM LINK Senior Men Day 2
Sunday 2-3 p.m.* NBC | STREAM LINK Senior Men Day 2
  7-9 p.m. NBC | STREAM LINK Senior Women Day 2

*Delayed broadcast.