Make that two straight podium finishes for triathlete Katie Zaferes.
The 2016 Olympian finished a strong second, behind Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, at the World Triathlon Series race Saturday in Yokohama, Japan. She high-fived spectators along the final yards of the 10-kilometer run before hitting the finish line.
Duffy, the two-time reigning world champion, won in 1 hour, 53 minutes, 25 seconds. Zaferes was 33 seconds back (1:53:58), followed by 2013 world champion Non Stanford of Great Britain (1:54:41).
After crashing in the bike portion of the season-opening World Triathlon Abu Dhabi and being hospitalized with a concussion, Zaferes has reached the podium in both races since then.
Zaferes claimed bronze on April 28 at World Triathlon Bermuda, losing second place in a photo finish at the tape to Olympic bronze medalist Vicky Holland of Great Britain. But this time, Zaferes was so strong on the run that she topped third-place finisher Stanford by 43 seconds.
"I am so excited, I feel like I was in good form and I also was a little tired after Bermuda, that second lap on the run I was feeling real rough," Zaferes told World Triathlon. "Thankfully I brought it back together for the third and the fourth (lap) so I am really happy with it."
Also finishing among the top 10 was fellow American Summer Cook, who was sixth.
Kirsten Kasper, who entered the race as the top-ranked woman in the World Triathlon Series, was hurt in the 40-kilometer bike event and did not finish the race. She had trailed Duffy by just seven seconds out of the swim.
In the World Paratriathlon Series competition, Paralympic medalists Allysa Seely and Hailey Danz won gold and silver in the women’s PTS2, three-time Paralympian Mark Barr won the men’s PTS2, Paralympic champion Grace Norman was second in the PTS5 and Jamie Brown was second in the men’s PTS4.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.