GOLD COAST, Australia – Led by a fourth-place finish from Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.) U.S. women placed three in the top 10 at ITU World Triathlon Gold Coast on Saturday in the first sprint-distance race of the 2017 World Triathlon Series calendar.
New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt earned her second consecutive WTS win in Gold Coast, covering the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run course in 58 minutes, 3 seconds. Ashleigh Gentle of Australia crossed the line second in 58:07, and Juri Ide of Japan was third in 58:12. Zaferes, a 2016 Olympian, was eight seconds off the podium in 58:20. She was followed closely by Renee Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), who took fifth in 58:21, and Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), who was seventh in 58:24.
Other U.S. finishers included Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.) in 12th, Taylor Spivey (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) in 13th, and two-time Olympian Sarah True (Cooperstown, N.Y.) in 34th.
After the one-lap, 750m swim, six U.S. women, including Zaferes, Kasper, Spivey, Tomlin, True and Cook, were part of the lead pack on the bike. Around 30 women entered the second transition at the same time, but the group thinned out over the course of the 5k run. Hewitt, who was first out of T2, never gave up her lead, while Gentle and Ide broke away to take the other two podium spots. Zaferes, Tomlin, Ai Ueda of Japan, and Kasper followed in a sprint for fourth.
In the men’s race, Mario Mola of Spain defended his 2016 title in a time of 53:17. South Africa’s Richard Murray earned his second podium in as many weeks, finishing second in 52:39 after winning the New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup last Sunday. Fernando Alarza of Spain rounded out the podium in 52:44.
The U.S. men were led by Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.), whose time of 53:17 was good for 11th place – just three seconds outside of the top 10. Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill.) and Greg Billington (Spokane, Wash.) both 2016 Olympians, finished 23rd and 25th respectively. Matt McElroy, who earned a World Cup podium last weekend in New Plymouth, placed 36th.
The World Paratriathlon Series also made a stop in Gold Coast, and U.S. athletes impressed with five podium finishes. Elizabeth Baker (Roswell, Ga.) and guide Jillian Petersen (St. Louis, Mo.) took gold in the women’s PTVI division in 1:06:50. Paralympic champion Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz.) won the women’s PTS2 class in 1:26:35, and Chris Hammer (Salt Lake City, Utah) took the men’s PTS5 win in 1:01:13.
Mark Barr (Houston, Tex.) and Mary Kate Callahan (Chicago, Ill.) earned silvers in the men’s PTS2 and women’s PTHC divisions, respectively. Full results from ITU World Paratriathlon Gold Coast are available at triathlon.org.
The ITU World Triathlon Series makes its next stop in Yokohama, Japan, from May 13-14.
2017 ITU World Triathlon Gold Coast
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Elite Women – Complete Results
1. Andrea Hewitt (NZL), 58:03
2. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), 58:07
3. Juri Ide (JPN), 58:12
4. Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.) 58:20
5. Renee Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), 58:21
7. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) 58:24
12. Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.) 58:40
13. Taylor Spivey (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), 58:41
34. Sarah True (Cooperstown, N.Y.), 1:02:57
Chelsea Burns (Seattle, Wash.), DNF
Elite Men – Complete Results
1. Mario Mola (ESP), 52:35
2. Richard Murray (RSA), 52:39
3. Fernando Alarza (ESP), 52:44
11. Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.), 53:17
23. Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill.), 53:52
25. Greg Billington (Spokane, Wash.), 54:02
36. Matthew McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 55:54
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).