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One week after Gwen Jorgensen (USA) qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the rising American star backed it up with her first World Cup win at the 2011 Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup. She continued her blistering form today in Hungary after taking silver last weekend on the Olympic course in London.
Japan’s Akane Tsuchihashi led the swim and the first transition but failed to capitalise on her 7-second lead over second placed Lang. Going into the second lap, Lang shared her lead with Switzerland’s Celine Schaerer.
The race, which saw numerous changes in the lead, quickly broke into two packs in the 40km bike course. The second pack during the bike, where Jorgensen was placed, couldn’t catch the first led by Briton’s Kerry Lang, Russia’s Liubov Ivanovskaya and Line Jensen from Denmark.
Jorgensen, who placed 46th in the 40km bike section, struggled to bridge the gap with the front pack, which had a 35-second lead.
“I think I was the first one that didn’t make that front pack, we were all trying to work to get up there, but we had a lot of strong cyclists in that first group and we just weren’t able to bridge up,” said Jorgensen. “I knew we were losing time and there’s just so many talented girls out there, I was just trying to give it my best.”
Schaerer and Sara Vilic (CRO) led going into the second transition with no clear packs. But out on the run course, Jorgensen wasted no time in attacking first placed Mazzetti and Tsuchihashi. Between the second transition and second lap of the run Jorgensen shifted into another gear, moving up 27 places to sixth. From there on she didn’t look back passing run leader Mazzetti and snatching the gold in the thrilling final lap.
Despite a 70-second deficit coming out of T2, Jorgensen made up more than 15 seconds on each of the laps and stopped the clock at 1 hour, 59 minutes and 54 seconds to claim her maiden ITU victory.
Russia’s Abysova took the bronze after a battle in the final lap with Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (AUS) in a time of 2:00:19.
Mazzetti came across for silver, eight seconds behind Jorgensen while Abysova finished up a further 16 seconds back.
Jorgensen blazed to the day’s fastest run split at 33:49, a full 42 seconds faster than any other woman on the 10km run course.
“There’s so many people out there cheering, the whole community was out there. It’s pretty exciting,” she added.
The three major contenders here, Ukraine’s Yuliya Yelistratova (formerly Sapunova), Ireland’s Aileen Morrison (IRL) and Vendula Frintova (CZE), who all raced in London last weekend, couldn’t find their legs today. Morrison quit during the bike and Frintova pulled out after coming last in the swim. Yelistratova, last year’s winner, finished 20th.
Hungary’s top placed athlete Zsofia Kovacs finished a respectable seventh with a time of 2:01:10.