Triathlon: American Jorgensen takes gold with perfect race

Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:24pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Mitch Phillips

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Hot favorite Gwen Jorgensen produced the perfect race to win the Olympic women's triathlon gold on Saturday, the American unusually staying with her rivals on the bike before surging clear of defending champion Nicola Spirig-Hug on the run.

Jorgensen has dominated the sport over the last two years but usually wins her races by chasing down the stronger bikers during the 10km run.

On Saturday, however, she swam strongly, gave as good as she got on the hilly 40km bike course and broke the challenge of 34-year-old Spirig-Hug on the run to win America's first gold in the sport since it was introduced to the Games in 2000.

Switzerland's Spirig-Hug, who has had a baby since her photo-finish victory in London, held on to take silver and become the first woman to win two Olympic medals in the sport.

Britons Non Stanford and Vicky Holland, who live and train together in Leeds and are great friends, battled it out for bronze, with Holland just taking it.

Jorgensen’s win, following Briton Alistair Brownlee's successful defense of the men’s title, means the sport's reputation for upset Olympic champions has been firmly put to bed.

It was also a long overdue gold for the country that invented the sport after the United States had previously managed only Susan Williams' bronze in 2004 since it joined the Olympic party in 2000.

"I knew if I kept doing what I've been doing, hopefully it would work out," Jorgensen said.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Triathlon - Final - Women's Final - Fort Copacabana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 20/08/2016. Gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen (USA) of USA reacts. REUTERS/Toby Melville