Zaferes Wins Silver, Kasper Takes Bronze at ITU World Triathlon Yokohama

By USA Triathlon | May 12, 2017, 6:27 p.m. (ET)
 
YOKOHAMA, Japan – Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.) won a silver medal at ITU World Triathlon Yokohama on Saturday to take over the World Triathlon Series lead, while Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) earned her first career WTS podium with a bronze. 

It was a day of heavy rain in Yokohama, as athletes battled slick conditions and a technical bike course. Flora Duffy of Bermuda was the dominant winner in the women’s race, finishing the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run in 1 hour, 56 minutes, 18 seconds. Zaferes crossed the line 1:51 back from Duffy in 1:58:09, and Kasper followed in 1:58:17.

Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.) was the first American out of the water in third, followed by Kasper in eighth and Zaferes in 18th. As Duffy and Great Britain’s Sophie Coldwell worked together over the nine-lap bike course to pull away from the rest of the field, Kasper and Zaferes joined a chase pack of 10 women. Zaferes and Jessica Learmonth of Great Britain were involved in a crash that briefly separated them from the group, but both were able to catch back on by the end of the ride. 

Heading out on the four-lap run, Duffy and Coldwell had a gap of about 70 seconds on the field. While Duffy never relinquished her lead, Kasper and Zaferes ran together in third and fourth place on a mission to catch Coldwell. Zaferes lost a few seconds to Kasper when she dropped her sunglasses and had to double back to retrieve them, but both eventually overtook the Brit. Zaferes then used her strong finishing kick to pass her U.S. teammate, crossing the line in second for her first WTS podium of the season.

“I didn’t make that race the easiest for me, so I’m just really happy,” said Zaferes, who now passes New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt to take over the World Triathlon Series lead. “My favorite part was that it was a pretty technical bike and I did really well in it, and that was something I’d been working on all winter.”

Kasper’s first career WTS podium comes on the heels of her bronze-medal performance at an ITU World Cup in Chengdu, China, last weekend.

“I’m excited, it kind of hasn’t hit me yet,” Kasper said. “It’s always great to work with [Katie]. She’s an inspiration, she’s done amazing for the past few years, so to be able to run with her and work with her was really a good thing.”

Other U.S. finishers in the women’s race included Cook in 12th, Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) in 25th and Renee Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.) in 33rd.

In the men’s race, Mario Mola of Spain took the win with a time of 1:48:15. Another Spaniard, Fernando Alarza, took second in 1:48:23, while Kristian Blummenfelt of Norway placed third in 1:48:26.

Eric Lagerstrom (Portland, Ore.) was the first American out of the water in 27th, joining a large lead pack of about 25 on the bike. He headed out on the run in 25th place, 50 seconds back from race leader Blummenfelt. 

Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), who was in the chase pack on the bike, recorded the fifth-fastest run of the day in 31:10 to finish 20th overall in 1:50:33. Lagerstrom would ultimately place 27th in 1:51:21, while 2016 Olympian Greg Billington (Spokane, Wash.) took 35th in 1:52:50.

U.S. paratriathletes also had a strong showing in Yokohama, recording six podium performances. The second World Paratriathlon Series stop of the season featured a sprint-distance 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run. 2016 Paralympian Chris Hammer (Salt Lake City, Utah) won gold in the men’s PTS5 class. Mark Barr (Houston, Texas), also a 2016 Paralympian, took silver for the PTS2 men, while Jamie Brown (Carlsbad, Calif.) earned his first WPS podium with a win in the men’s PTS4 class.    

Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz.) and Hailey Danz (Chicago, Ill.), who won gold and silver as part of a U.S. podium sweep at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, went 1-2 again in the women’s PTS2 class. In the women’s PTS4 class, 2016 Paralympian Patricia Collins (Alexandria, Va.) took bronze.

Other U.S. finishers in the paratriathlon races included Joel Rosinbum (Austin, Texas), who placed 5th for the PTS4 men; Howie Sanborn (Fayetteville, N.C.), who placed 9th in the men’s PTHC class; and Amy Dixon (Greenwich, Conn.), who took fourth for the PTVI women. Full results from ITU World Paratriathlon Yokohama are available at triathlon.org

The ITU World Triathlon Series continues with its fourth of nine stops in Leeds, England, on June 10.

2017 ITU World Triathlon Yokohama
1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run


Elite Women – Complete Results
1. Flora Duffy (BER), 1:56:18
2. Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.), 1:58:09
3. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), 1:58:17

U.S. Finishers

2. Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.), 1:58:09
3. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), 1:58:17
12. Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.), 1:59:57
25. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 2:01:13
33. Renee Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), 2:03:28

Elite Men – Complete Results
1. Mario Mola (ESP), 1:48:15
2. Fernando Alarza (ESP), 1:48:23
3. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), 1:48:26

U.S. Finishers
20. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 1:50:33
27. Eric Lagerstrom (Portland, Ore.), 1:51:21
35. Greg Billington (Spokane, Wash.), 1:52:50

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).