An uncontested run to the finish line saw Gwen Jorgensen (USA) grab another slice ITU history as she claimed her eighth consecutive WTS victory on Saturday at the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Gold Coast. The victory marked the longest-running WTS streak of any elite woman since the inception of the series.
Joining her on the podium were fellow Americans Sarah True claiming silver and Katie Zaferes bronze in a USA cleansweep that has not happened since the Australian’s Emma Moffat, Emma Snowsill and Emma Jackson achieved it at the WTS Hamburg in 2011.
“I don’t think you ever have a perfect race but I was certainly thrilled to come out of the water and be in the front pack right away. I mean one, two, three for Team USA, I don’t think you can get any better standing on the podium and looking over and seeing the other two girls and hearing the national anthem, we could not ask for anything more,” said Jorgensen.
“I look back and some of the triathlon legends and it doesn’t seem like I am at that level at all because I just try to come in here and do my best.”
Jorgensen wore the number two today after the number one spot was left unoccupied in a fitting tribute to the late Jackie Fairweather, who passed away in 2014. The golden bike rack was also left open to salute the spectacular Fairweather who was a dominating and well-celebrated name in the sport of triathlon.
Under golden skies and in ideal conditions did little to break up the women on the two lap swim but a quick transition saw a tight-knit lead group of eight form at the front of the flat and very technical 40-kilometre bike course. The tough course caused some early casualty’s including Australian Natalie van Coevorden forced to withdraw. The front group included Lucy Hall (GBR), Flora Duffy (BER), Jorgensen, Zaferes, True, Rebecca Clarke (NZL), Pamella Oliveira (BRA) and Jessica Learmonth (GBR).
A large chase group, led interchangeably by Andrea Hewitt (NZL) and Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle and Emma Moffatt remained at a distance of about a one-minute deficit from the leaders entering into the second transition.
Jorgensen held her own in the swim remaining in touch and with the lead group heading back into into transition right behind Jessica Learmonth (GRB) who led out. Her swim and bike skills continue to improve which is not good news for her competitors. Jorgensen played an active part in the front group with Duffy and True also driving the bunch that worked effectively together to ensure they stayed away throughout the entirety of the eight-lap technical course.
Her remarkable effort the first two disciplines set her up perfectly to then unleash her weapon on the run. She cruised across the finish line to earn the gold medal at 1:57:00. Despite having to serve a 15-second penalty for a transition infringement, Jorgensen still executed a standout run to keep her perfect 2015 season intact and win her third WTS race of the year.
True took home the silver medal with a time of 1:58:18, giving her the first podium finish of the season after she placed ninth in Abu Dhabi and eighth in Auckland.
“Last year in London, Gwen and I were one and two and I knew that Katie was a podium athlete so it was just a matter of time before we swept the podium,” said True. “But for those of us who are thirty-plus, it takes us a little bit longer to get warmed up in the season so I am just happy to be back up on the podium.”
The USA sweep was complete when Zaferes was able to grab third in a time of 1:58:36. The bronze medallist now has earned three for three on podium finishes in the WTS circuit for the year and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
“I am super excited. When I saw Gwen and Sarah I knew I had to stay where I was because I wanted the all American podium,” said Zaferes.