PARIS (AP) — A roadmap to follow for the volleyball competition at the Paris Games:

Athletes to Watch

—Jordan Larson, United States: The 37-year-old Larson will be making her fourth appearance at the Olympics.

—Jordyn Poulter, United States: The 26-year-old setter sustained a serious knee injury late in 2022, had surgery early last year and only recently resumed full action.

—Earvin N’Gapeth, France: The 33-year-old outside hitter helped France win gold in Tokyo three years ago. He’s also a good rapper.

Storylines to Follow

—The French men go for a repeat gold medal in front of their home crowd. France beat the Russian team in Tokyo to become champions. They had never made it past the quarterfinals before.

—Can the U.S. women repeat? Larson dropped to the floor and cried after Brazil couldn’t return her spike on match point for the United States to win gold in Tokyo. The outside hitter appeared to be headed into retirement but she’s back. U.S. coach Karch Kiraly considers her the best American of all time. Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson Cook will be competing in her third Olympics. Kiraly says Poulter “has been working really hard to return to full capacity” from her knee surgery.

—U.S. coach Karch Kiraly has done it all in volleyball — beach and indoor.

Key Dates

The preliminary round begins July 27, with playoffs starting Aug. 5 and gold medal matches on Aug. 10 (men) and 11 (women).

Reigning Champions

—Men: France.

—Women: United States.

___

AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games