LONDON — Gwen Jorgensen and Sarah Groff secured the gold and silver medals at ITU World Triathlon London on Saturday, the first 1-2 finish by American women since the World Triathlon Series was launched in 2009. Jorgensen is now ranked No. 1 in the world, and Groff moves to third.
This is the best finish in London’s Hyde Park for both Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) and Groff (Hanover, N.H.), who competed in the same venue the past three years, including the London 2012 Olympic Games. Jorgensen, who earned her Olympic nomination in London in 2011 with second place, captured the win Saturday in 54:44 on the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run sprint course. This was Jorgensen’s fifth World Triathlon Series title, tying her for the most series wins in history with Emma Moffatt of Australia and Paula Findlay of Canada.
Groff had logged a fourth-place finish at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and held her position on the run to finish second in 55:12. Australia’s Emma Jackson was third in 55:19.
Katie Hursey (Phoenix, Ariz.) led the field out of the water, with Jorgensen and Groff just seconds off the front. Early in the four-lap 20k bike, the Americans were part of a pack of 11 and held a gap of nearly 20 seconds heading into T2. Once on the run, Jorgensen uncorked her run speed to move into the lead, and Groff broke away from Italian Alice Betto and New Zealand’s Nicky Samuels for a solid advantage in second position. Though Jackson surged through the field, Groff maintained her lead on to the blue carpet, giving the Americans the top-two times of the day. Hursey finished 13th.
“It was a hard race out there. These girls were pushing hard today,” Jorgensen told ITU media after the race. “I had my first podium here in 2011 and every race is different. You just try to do your best. I had a good swim, and I had a little bit of a slow transition but I just tried to stick with the first group.”
“I’ve always done pretty well, but it is so nice to finally be on the podium at this race,” said Groff, who had finished in the top seven at the Hyde Park venue three times before.
With the top-two spots on the podium, the U.S. now has two athletes ranked in the top three of the Threadneedle ITU World Triathlon Series. Jorgensen leads with 2,624 points, and Groff has 1,959 points. Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson is second with 2,396 points. Complete world series rankings for the women and men are available at triathlon.org.
In the men’s race, Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) made his World Triathlon Series debut in 27th place, clocking in at 50:42. Mario Mola of Spain claimed his first World Triathlon Series title in 49:46.
The next stop of the ITU World Triathlon Series will be Chicago on June 27-29. A field of 130 of the world’s best elites, as well as 60 elite paratriathletes and 4,000 age-groupers will compete on the shores of Lake Michigan at a venue staged at Grant Park’s Buckingham Fountain. More on the event is available at chicago.triathlon.org.
(From USA Triathlon Press Release)