(Reuters) - Gwen Jorgensen became the first American in a decade to win a triathlon world title when she clinched the series finale at Hawrelak Park in Edmonton, Alberta on Saturday.
The 28-year-old, who led the overall standings entering the final race, broke clear of her rivals in the closing 10-kilometer run to post a winning time of two hours five seconds.
New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt finished the race second in 2:00:21 with her compatriot Nicky Samuels third in 2:00:31.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, that I‘m world champion,” Jorgensen told reporters after becoming the first woman to win five World Triathlon Series events in a single season.
“This race was interesting because going in I knew I only had to get top 16 to be world champion. I really wanted to win it on this day, and it’s been the sole focus all year.”
Jorgensen’s world title was the first for the U.S. since 2004, when four-time Olympian Sheila Taormina won.
American Sarah Groff, who finished Saturday’s event fourth in 2:01:20, ended the season second in the overall standings and secured the world championship silver medal.
“Honestly it was just a struggle to stay on the podium for the series for me,” Groff said. “I had to fight the entire day. Sometimes you’ve got it and sometimes you don‘t, and today I had enough.”
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry