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U.S. Olympic team qualifying, selection races to watch in 2024

Dake sweeps Burroughs to earn spot on Olympic team
Kyle Dake defeats Jordan Burroughs in the best-of-three final series at the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials to secure a place on the U.S. team in the 74kg freestyle division in Tokyo.

As 2024 nears, a chronological look at the most compelling races for U.S. spots at the Paris Olympics ...

Women’s 67kg, U.S. national team trials, Jan. 5-7; Pan American qualifier, April 9-10
Anastasija Zolotic, who in Tokyo became the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic taekwondo title, needs to win trials, then make the finals of a Pan American qualifier to return to the Games. Zolotic underwent right hip surgery last February and missed this past May’s world championships.

Track and Field
Women’s marathon, Olympic Trials, Feb. 3
Top three are in line to make the team. It’s shaping up to be the strongest U.S. women’s marathon field ever. It should include three of the four fastest U.S. women in history (Emily Sisson, Keira D’Amato, Sara Hall) and 15 of the top 20 (which includes Olympic bronze medalist Molly Seidel, 2018 Boston Marathon winner Des Linden, Tokyo Olympic Trials winner Aliphine Tuliamuk and Betsy Saina, the fastest American of 2023).

Artistic Swimming
Team event, World Championships, Feb. 3-9
The U.S. earns an Olympic spot for the first time since 2008 if it finishes in the top five among nations not already qualified for the Games. The U.S. will qualify if it repeats its result from last July’s worlds. Men will be allowed in Olympic artistic swimming for the first time in 2024. Bill May, who turns 45 on Jan. 17, was on the U.S. team at this past July’s worlds. He can become the oldest U.S. Olympic aquatics sports athlete by four years, according to

Three women’s spots, World Cup, April 2-11
A nation can qualify no more than three lifters per gender to spread across the five weight classes. The team is determined by international results dating to December 2022. The U.S. women are deep enough that their three most decorated active lifters would not make the team if going by current rankings.

Spot No. 1: Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Kate Vibert (formerly Nye) is fifth in the world at 71kg, but second among Americans behind Olivia Reeves. Spot No. 2: two-time Olympic bronze medalist Sarah Robles is seventh in the world at +81kg, but second among Americans behind Mary Theisen-Lappen. Spot No. 3: Mattie Rogers, a four-time world silver medalist, is the top American at 81kg (11th in the world), but Jourdan Delacruz is ranked higher at 49kg (sixth in the world). April’s World Cup is the last chance for lifters to improve their rankings.

Men’s freestyle 74kg, 97kg, Olympic Trials, April 19-20
A nation can qualify one Olympic spot per weight division, which makes these trials win-or-go-home. At 74kg, the U.S. has Kyle Dake, a four-time world champion and Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist, and Jordan Burroughs, a six-time world champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist. In 2021, Burroughs had a bye into the Olympic Trials best-of-three finals, where Dake dethroned him. This time, Dake has the bye into the finals.

At 97kg, the U.S. has Kyle Snyder, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist and three-time world champion, and J’den Cox, a two-time world champion. Snyder and Cox were expected to face off at the Tokyo Olympic Trials and this past year’s world team trials finals, but Cox missed both events. He didn’t make the weigh-in deadline in 2021 and was injured this year.

Women, World Triathlon Championship Series Yokohama, May 11
The U.S. is expected to have the maximum three women’s triathlon spots at the Olympics. Taylor Knibb would get the first spot via her fifth-place finish at the Paris test event last August. The second spot would go to the highest-placing American in Yokohama, should she be in the top three overall. The third would be a discretionary selection made by a USA Triathlon panel. The panel would choose the second and third spots should nobody finish in the top three in Yokohama.

Candidates are expected to include Taylor Spivey, who ranked fourth in the world in 2023; Katie Zaferes, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist who this year returned from childbirth with a best World Series finish of fifth and Gwen Jorgensen, the 2016 Olympic champion who this year returned to triathlon after spending the previous Olympic cycle as a distance runner. Jorgensen won four lower-level World Cups in 2023 and had a best top-level World Series finish of 24th in four starts.

Women’s roster, announced by June 7
An interesting fact about Olympic soccer rosters is that they are 18 players, down from 23 at this past summer’s World Cup. Even after the retirements of Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz, there will be notables who do not make this team. That new coach Emma Hayes will not take over until May adds to the intrigue.

Can Alex Morgan, who made the last four World Cup teams and last three Olympic teams, keep a spot in the attack at age 35? Can Becky Sauerbrunn, the Tokyo Olympic captain who missed the 2023 World Cup while injured, earn a place in the defense at age 39?

Men’s U.S. Open, June 13-16
After this major tournament, the four highest-ranked Americans who are in the top 15 of the world rankings make the team for Paris. So far in the two-year Olympic qualifying window, the top Americans are 2023 Players champion Scottie Scheffler, 2023 U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark, 2023 Open champion Brian Harman and Max Homa, according to rankings guru @VC606.

If those standings hold, golfers who do not qualify would include Tokyo gold medalist Xander Schauffele, former world No. 3 Patrick Cantlay and 2023 PGA champion Brooks Koepka. Koepka’s chances are limited by his place in the LIV Golf League, whose tournaments do not qualify to earn ranking points.

Women’s backstrokes, Olympic Trials, June 15-23
The U.S. has been deepest in the women’s 100m and 200m backstrokes over the last two Olympic cycles. In 2023, the U.S. had the second, third and fourth fastest women in the world in the 100m back and the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth fastest in the 200m back. The only faster woman in either event was Australian Kaylee McKeown, who broke both world records this year. Come trials, the top two make the team.

In the 100m back, four women own a world championships medal in the event (Regan Smith, Katharine Berkoff, Claire Curzan and Olivia Smoliga). The 200m back was so strong at the last Olympic Trials that Smith, then the world record holder, missed the team by placing third. At this past spring’s nationals, five U.S. women, including Smith, swam a 200m back time that would have won a medal at July’s worlds.

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, June 20-23
After this major tournament, the four highest-ranked Americans who are in the top 15 of the world rankings make the team for Paris. If chosen based off today’s rankings, that team would be: Lilia Vu (world No. 1), Nelly Korda (No. 5), Allisen Corpuz (No. 13) and Megan Khang (No. 14).

However, consider world No. 26 Rose Zhang, the former Stanford star who turned pro this past spring. Zhang climbed from No. 482 in the world in the past seven months, which means she will be dropping very few points from now through the PGA. In golf, world rankings are calculated on a rolling two-year window.

Track and Field
Men’s 100m, Olympic Trials, June 21-30
The U.S. swept the 100m medals at the 2022 World Championships, and then three different men made the podium at this past July’s USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships. The field vying for three individual spots in Paris is expected to include the last three world champions (Noah Lyles, Fred Kerley and Christian Coleman), two more 2022 World medalists (Marvin Bracy-Williams, Trayvon Bromell) and reigning national champion Cravont Charleston.

Women’s team, Olympic Trials, June 28, 30
The team will be five women. There are currently 10 women who own Olympic or world championships medals who are believed to be training for an Olympic bid. The field of candidates, the most decorated ever, includes Olympic all-around gold medalists Simone Biles, Suni Lee and Gabby Douglas, Olympic floor exercise champion Jade Carey, Olympic team silver medalist Jordan Chiles and 2023 World team champions Shilese Jones, Leanne Wong, Skye Blakely and Joscelyn Roberson. Plus Kayla DiCello, the 2021 World all-around bronze medalist.