The USA’s Gwen Jorgensen returned to the top of the ITU World Triathlon Series podium in style in Yokohama on Saturday, pulling out a dominating win ahead of two breakthrough medalists.
In a race where a congested bike leg meant it all came down to the 10km run, on paper it was Jorgensen’s to lose. In the first two World Triathlon Series races this season, in Auckland and Cape Town, Jorgensen had laid down the fastest run splits of the day—by over a minute. But in both those races she left T2 so far behind the leaders she was never going to catch a red-hot Jodie Stimpson. But leaving transition with the leaders put the race squarely in Jorgensen’s hand and she didn’t disappoint, pulling out a 33:43 split in the run to finish in a time of 1:59:38.
It was the second consecutive year that Jorgensen has won on the Yokohama course, and she was pleased to be able to go back to back.
Behind Jorgensen it was a breakthrough day for many athletes in the top 10, in particular medalist Ai Ueda (JPN) and Agnieszka Jerzyk (POL).
Ueda burst out of the gates from T2 and took the lead early on, but proved she hadn’t gone too early as she battled to a clear silver medal. Ueda is the second Japanese athlete to podium at Yokohama, alongside Juri Ide, and claimed her first career medal. Jerzyk first made her name in Beijing in 2011, taking out the Under23 World Championship that year, but had failed to translate that into senior results in Yokohama. In the third lap of the run she pushed herself up into third place. It was the first series medal won by a Polish athlete.
Threadneedle rankings leader Jodie Stimpson finished despite suffering a cut foot, and maintained her lead in the rankings after three rounds of the 2014 ITU World Triathlon Series.
ITU WTS Yokohama
Yokohama, Japan – May 17, 2014
1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run
1. Gwen Jorgensen USA 1:58:38
2. Ai Ueda JPN 1:59:14
3. Agnieszka Jerzyk POL 1:59:24
4. Yuka Sato JPN 1:59:43
5. Alice Betto ITA 1:59:58
6. Claire Michel BEL 1:59:59
7. Sarah-Anne Brault CAN 2:00:03
8. Mariko Adachi JPN 2:00:06
9. Jodie Stimpson GBR 2:00:15
10. Gillian Sanders RSA 2:00:20