For the past two years, Gwen Jorgensen had been making history every time she started an ITU World Triathlon Series event, winning five straight in 2014 and another seven in 2015. That streak came to an end Saturday in Gold Coast, Australia, when she placed second to Helen Jenkins of Great Britain.
At one point, it appeared that a podium finish might even elude Jorgensen, a rarity that hasn’t occurred in a WTS race in more than two years (she finished 12th on April 6, 2014, in Auckland, New Zealand). It took a determined effort in the run for her to track down the leaders and use a finishing sprint on the blue carpet to edge out Andrea Hewitt for the silver with a time of 1:56:44, a second ahead of Hewitt and 41 seconds behind Jenkins’ winning time of 1:56:03.
“Helen was really strong today and she was the better athlete,” Jorgensen said in a post-race interview with the International Triathlon Union. The 2012 Olympian and reigning two-time world champion has already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. She earned her ticket to Brazil by winning the Rio de Janeiro ITU Olympic World Qualification Event last August. A three-time USA Triathlon national champion, she has been named the organization’s Athlete of the Year the past three years.
In the men’s competition, Team USA saw two men finish in the top-10, with Joe Maloy taking sixth in 1:47:53, only 42 seconds away from a podium finish. Greg Billington finished 10th in 1:48:16. Maloy’s finish was the best by an American man since Hunter Kemper placed fifth in San Diego in 2012, and it was the first time that the U.S. had two top-10 finishers in the same race since Greg Bennett (seventh), Matt Chrabot (ninth) and Kemper (10th) achieved the feat in Sydney, Australia, in 2010.