YOKOHAMA, Japan — 2016 U.S. Olympic qualifier Gwen Jorgensen returned to the top of the podium on Saturday at ITU World Triathlon Yokohama with a record fourth win at Yamashita Park.
Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) finished more than a minute clear of the field on the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course to log her fourth consecutive win in Yokohama in 1 hour, 56 minutes, 2 seconds. She earned her second-ever WTS victory in the 2013 edition of the race, and her 12-race win streak, which ended last month in Gold Coast, began in Yokohama in 2014. Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle was second in 1:57:20, and Japan’s Ai Ueda finished with the bronze medal in front of a home crowd in 1:57:25.
“What I love about coming to Yokohama is everyone’s so welcoming, polite and helpful. And when you race, the crowd just lines the entire course, and that’s always something that’s exciting and motivating,” Jorgensen said. “I would have liked to have been a little closer up to the front on the swim and the bike and still have some work to do. So it’s good that I have three months, so I can continue to build and mess with my bike and my run.”
The wind caused some challenges for athletes early on with a choppy swim, but once out on the bike, all seven American women were in the lead pack. With an automatic qualification on the line for a podium finish, the U.S. women ran thrilling races, with Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.) and Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) jockeying for a podium position in the early stages of the run. Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.) finished as the second U.S. woman behind Jorgensen, placing sixth.
The third U.S. women’s Olympic slot is expected to be finalized after an evaluation of the domestique or “team player” scenario, which is written into the selection criteria as a possible option prior to the Objective Rankings System being confirmed.
The Olympic qualification period closes May 15. The men will race in Rio on Aug. 18 and the women are scheduled to race Aug. 20, with the main venue set at Copacabana Beach. Learn more about USA Triathlon and the Olympic Games at usatriathlon.org.
All qualifications and nominations to the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team are pending approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Elite Women — Complete Results
1. Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.), 1:56:02
2. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), 1:57:20
3. Ai Ueda (JPN), 1:57:25
6. Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.), 1:57:35
9. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), 1:58:02
14. Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.), 1:58:31
26. Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), 1:59:49
29. Lindsey Jerdonek (Brecksville, Ohio), 2:00:04
45. Erin Jones (Hood River, Ore.), 2:02:54
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).