Gwen Jorgensen leads historic U.S. triathlon sweep at Gold Coast
“The rumor was they didn’t even have three USA flags, so hopefully they’ll get three for next time,” Gwen Jorgensen said, according to The Associated Press.
The World champion Jorgensen won her eighth straight World Triathlon Series event and, for the first time, was joined by two countrywomen on the podium in Gold Coast, Australia, on Saturday.
Jorgensen, Sarah True and Katie Zaferes made up the second-ever medals sweep by one nation in a men’s or women’s World Triathlon Series event (the series started in 2009, and Gold Coast marked the 50th stop).
Jorgensen prevailed by 1 minute, 18 seconds, winning so easily that she crossed the finish line of the 10km run after several high-fives with fans and with her sunglasses perched on her hair (full results here).
Jorgensen was in the lead pack after the 1500m swim and the 43km bike, and she’s the greatest runner in the world. She had to serve a 15-second penalty during her run because her bike fell in the transition zone, but nobody was going to catch her.
“I don’t think you ever have a perfect race, but I was really thrilled to come out of the water and be in the front pack right away,” Jorgensen said in a finish-area interview.
Jorgensen notched her 11th career win in 27 World Triathlon Series starts. She hasn’t lost a WTS race since April 26. She extended the longest men’s or women’s win streak in series history. Pre-WTS, Australian Emma Carney was unbeaten across 12 straight International Triathlon Union World Cup races in 1995-96, but she did not win the separate World Championships races those years.
“You don’t think about that,” Jorgensen said of her streak. “When you say it, it sounds really weird. You look back at some of the triathlon legends, and it doesn’t seem like I’m at that level at all.”
True, who was the top American at the 2012 Olympics (fourth) and second in last year’s overall standings behind Jorgensen, made the podium for the first time in three tries this year.
Jorgensen, 28, and True, 33, went one-two at last season’s WTS event in London.
“And I knew that Katie is a podium athlete; it’s just a matter of time,” said True, who finished ninth and eighth in the first two events this season. “Those of us who are 30-plus, it takes us a little while to get warmed up to the season. ... I’m actually ahead of where I thought I’d be.”
Zaferes made the podium for the third time in as many races this season. She was second to Jorgensen in the first two events in Abu Dhabi and Auckland. Zaferes finished 18 seconds behind True.
The only other time one nation swept a World Triathlon Series podium came in 2011, when three Australian Emmas did so -- Emma Moffatt, Emma Jackson and Emma Snowsill.
In the men’s Gold Coast race, Olympic bronze medalist Jonathan Brownlee captured his second straight victory, topping Spain’s Mario Mola and Javier Gomez (full results here).
U.S. mile record holder Alan Webb failed to finish the race in his second career World Triathlon Series start.
The World Triathlon Series continues with a stop in Cape Town, South Africa, in two weeks.