Simone Biles is back. Her return to competition at the U.S. Classic highlights this weekend's action, which also includes several major track & field meets and an Olympic qualifier in skateboarding. Here's what's happening this weekend (May 21-23) on the Road to Tokyo.
Gymnastics: U.S. Classic
Simone Biles is set to compete at the 2021 U.S. Classic on Saturday in Indianapolis, marking her first competition in more than 18 months.
The 24-year-old Biles last competed at the 2019 World Gymnastics Championships, where she won five gold medals and landed two new signature moves. Since then, she's developed a vault that no woman has attempted in competition, a Yurchenko double pike, and plans to debut this weekend (she already landed the move in podium training on Friday).
In addition to Biles, the field is expected to include Sunisa Lee -- a three-time gold medalist at the 2019 World Gymnastics Championships -- Tokyo Olympic Games individual qualifier Jade Carey and 2016 Olympic medalist Laurie Hernandez. Adding to the intrigue, 2008 Olympian Chellsie Memmel, 32, is set to compete for the first time since 2012.
The U.S. Classic is the final chance for female gymnasts to qualify for the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships, scheduled for June 3-6, which in turn is a qualifier for Olympic Trials later in June.
Session 1 of the U.S. Classic will stream live on Peacock at 1 p.m. ET and Session 2 airs live on NBCSN at 7 p.m. [LIVE STREAM]. Peacock will also host an exclusive warm-up show at 5:30 p.m. with live look-ins at Biles' warm-up session.
Track & Field: Multiple Events
A strong contingent of Team USA's top field athletes unite Saturday for the USATF Throws Festival in Tucson, Arizona, followed Sunday by two major fixtures: Diamond League season-opener Muller Grand Prix in Gateshead, England; and Adidas Boost Boston Games in Boston, Massachusetts, the fifth of 12 gold-level stops on World Athletics' Continental Tour. Sunday's events are on Peacock, with Boost Boston also on NBC.
USATF Throws Festival features seven of the top Americans in the four throwing events plus high jump: in men's shot put, the respective reigning Olympic and world champions Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs; in hammer, reigning women's world champion Deanna Price and Gwen Berry, ranked third and sixth on the event's all-time list, and farthest-throwing man of 2021 thus far Rudy Winkler; in women's javelin, collegiate record-holder Maggie Malone; and in women's high jump, 2019 world bronze medalist Vashti Cunningham.
Watch: 6:30 p.m. to midnight ET Saturday on USATF.tv+
Gateshead DL sees 10 reigning Olympic or world champions converge. The women's 100m features a world-class lineup with American sprinting phenom Sha’Carri Richardson – who's won her last 10 races at 100m – facing off against all three medal winners from the 2019 world championships podium: two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, host nation record-holder Dina Asher-Smith and Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast. Fraser-Pryce's fellow countrywoman Elaine Thompson-Herah, the reigning Olympic sprint-double champion, was also slated to run but withdrew due to injury. Fraser-Pryce, who was Richardson's age now when she won in Beijing, is on a seven-race 100m win streak herself.
Also on the card in Gateshead: 2019 world medal-winners Mondo Duplantis, Sam Kendricks and Piotr Lisek in the pole vault; Mariya Lasitskene and Yaroslava Mahuchikh, the two best women's high jumpers since the Rio Games; American triple jump record-holder Keturah Orji; and Jakob Ingebritsen in the 1500m.
Watch: 2-4 p.m. ET Sunday on Peacock [STREAM]
Lastly, the Boost Boston Games showcase several of the world's top speedsters competing on the streets of Boston's Back Bay, some on a unique 200m straight-track laid out along Boylston Street. Noah Lyles headlines for the men in the final-event 100m with brother Josephus and Mike Rodgers, followed closely by a 200m field that has in it 400m world record-holder Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa; reigning world champion Grant Holloway in the 110m hurdles; and red-hot Bryce Hoppel in the 600m. For the women, headliners include world record-holder Keni Harrison in the 100m hurdles, American 800m record-holder Ajee Wilson in the 600m and Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas in the 200m.
Watch early: 10-11 a.m. ET and 4-4:30 p.m. ET Sunday on USATF.tv+
Watch: 4:30-6 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC [STREAM] and Peacock [STREAM]
(NBC commentators: Swangard, Boldon, Johnson)
Skateboarding: Dew Tour
Over 300 skateboarders from around the world are competing at the 2021 Dew Tour at the brand-new, $6.1 million Lauridsen Skatepark in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. The event is the only Olympic qualifier on U.S. soil as the June 30 deadline for athletes to rack up qualifying points nears. The qualifying sessions took place Thursday and Friday while the semifinals and finals are set for Saturday and Sunday.
Among the big names participating for the U.S. are Nyjah Huston -- one of the most decorated skateboarders in the sport's history -- Mariah Duran, Jordyn Barratt and Heimana Reynolds.
Golf: LPGA Pure Silk Championship
The likelihood of a pair of sisters representing the United States in golf has increased significantly as of late. Nelly and Jessica Korda are two of the top four American women's golfers, and both are competing in this weekend's Pure Silk Championship in Williamsburg. Nelly is the top-ranked U.S. women's golfer while Jessica is ranked No. 4, but a strong performance this weekend is key in order for Jessica to cushion her lead over Austin Ernst, who sits just two spots behind her in the rankings.
How to Watch
- Saturday 5/22: 3-6pm ET, Golf Channel
- Sunday 5/23: 3-6pm ET, Golf Channel
Sport Climbing: Bouldering World Cup
The IFSC Bouldering World Cup makes its first of back-to-back stops in Salt Lake City, bringing the world’s best indoor climbers, and several Tokyo Olympians, to the Rocky Mountains. All four members of the United States Olympic team — Nathaniel Coleman, Colin Duffy, Brooke Raboutou and Kyra Condie — are scheduled to compete, joined by Tokyo medal contenders Miho Nonaka (JPN), Adam Ondra (CZE) and Alexander Megos (GER). The semifinal and final rounds of the event take place throughout the day Saturday and can be live streamed on the IFSC’s YouTube channel.
Bouldering is one of the three disciplines included in the Olympic combined competition, along with speed and lead climbing. It requires athletes to ascend multiple boulder “problems” constructed on a 4.5-meter-high wall. It is both a physically and mentally testing discipline.