Olympic silver medalist Lisa Norden faced another sprint finish and this time she came out ahead. She outpaced Germany’s Anne Haug to take the victory at the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Series Yokohama race.
Sarah Groff was the top-finishing American in seventh, with Gwen Jorgensen right behind in eighth.
Read the race recap from Triathlon.org below:
After a few days of strong winds and choppy waters, the elite women were greeted by glorious conditions with sunshine and very little wind. U.S. Olympian Sarah Groff was in front early but surprisingly Rachel Klamer led the women out of the water and into T1. She was followed closely by Groff and Emma Moffatt.
Three distinct packs formed early in the 40km bike course, including 19 women in the lead pack. They were pursued by a chase pack of nine which included a number of stellar runners including Haug, Barbara Riveros Diaz, Ashleigh Gentle, Gwen Jorgensen, and Mariko Adachi.
A further 90 seconds behind that group were Ai Ueda and Felicity Sheedy-Ryan who were facing a two-minute deficit.
The leaders began the bike with a 50-second lead, but the group’s reluctance to work on staying away from the chase, coupled with Haug’s relentless tenacity on the bike, resulted in a big group of 28 women riding together at the beginning of the fourth lap.
The battle for the podium was ahead of them and early on the flat 10km run course, a group of seven women emerged at the front. Among them were Norden, Haug, Moffatt, Caelers, Gentle, Riveros and Densham.
Gentle and Moffatt both pushed the pace and traded the lead as they passed the midway point of the run while Norden waited for her moment to strike.
Norden and Haug entered the long 240m finish chute together and began a furious sprint to the line. Haug broke away first but Norden quickly caught up, seizing the lead and never relinquishing it as she hit the finish tape first in a time of 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 7 seconds. It was her second title in Yokohama after taking the title in 2009.
“It’s the first major event after a couple of races that I did and I am getting into very good shape,” said Norden. “Coming to Japan with such a nice atmosphere and getting very well welcomed is so important for me. Maybe it is the sushi that works of my favor.”
2012 ITU World Triathlon Yokohama – Sept. 29, 2012
Final Results – Elite Men – 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
1. Lisa Norden (SWE) 1:59:07
2. Anne Haug (GER) 1:59:07
3. Maaike Caelers (NED) 1:59:12
4. Emma Moffatt (AUS) 1:59:17
5. Erin Densham (AUS) 1:59:22