With the U.S. withdrawing from the tournament after having already qualified for the Rio Games, the field was a bit more open at the NORCECA Volleyball Continental Championship. And Canada took advantage to claim their first championship in a 3-1 victory over Cuba. In addition, server Nicholas Hoag earned both MVP and Best Server honors from the tournament. With the win, Canada earned the right to host the North American Olympic qualifier next year, which will feature the top four finishers: Canada, Cuba, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
While Argentina is Tops in South America
With Brazil not participating as already holding an Olympics berth as host nation, the focus switched to long-time rival Argentina in the South American Olympic Qualification Tournament. And they did come through, winning the sole berth available as the event winners, with a surprisingly tight 3-2 victory over Venezuela. The second-place finishers and Chile, in third place, do have another shot at Rio, at the World and Intercontinental Qualifying Tournaments, respectively next year.
Mexico Wins CONCACAF Representation
New this cycle, the winner of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup did not automatically earn the right to represent the confederation of North & Central America and the Caribbean at the Confederation Cup in 2017. But Mexico cemented their status as regional #1 after a 3-1 victory in the one game playoff this weekend to win the berth, following their title at the Gold Cup in July, which normally would have sent them on directly. The U.S. defeat, meanwhile, represents another setback in the expectations of a strong power-to-be on the world stage, as they are no longer the CONCACAF title-holders, nor will have the opportunity for a World Cup trial at the Confederations Cup a year ahead.
Kenyan men and women won the Chicago Marathon this weekend, following the general trend from the east African nation. On the women's side, Florence Kiplagat, winner of the 2009 World Cross Country gold, took the title over a pair of Ethiopians, Yebrgual Melese and Berhane Dibaba, after an offiicial second-place finish in the same race in 2014. On the men's side, Dickson Chumba led a podium sweep for Kenya, ahead of two Sammy's - Kitwara and Mdiguru in second and third, respectively, for his 1st major marathon title since 2014's Tokyo.
Russia Tops the Military Games
Closing this weekend in Mungyeong, Korea, the 6th World Military Games closed with Russia topping the medal table far ahead of the rest of the nations, with 135 medals to second-place China's 96. First started in 1995, the Games offer the world's military personnel a global multi-sport platform for sport. The U.S., with a minimal presence, only captured four medals.