Rio Olympics 2016: Kiwis finish in top 15 at triathlon

by Leon Thompson August 23, 2016, 3:39

She is now not only an Olympic and world champion, but also holds the record for most consecutive WTS wins on the circuit.

Spirig faded to finish 40 seconds behind Jorgensen and claim her second Olympic medal after gold in London four years ago.

As she wobbled along on a flat tire four years ago in London, Gwen Jorgensen promised to turn that heartbreak at Hyde Park into a conquering of Copacabana Beach at the Rio Games.

'Those two, just thinking about all the investments they put into me, thinking about the four years, and it all came down to one day, and to be able to actually execute on that day is pretty unbelievable.

The Olympic race, which includes a 1.5 kilometer swim, a 40k bike and a 10k run, could not have started better for Zaferes. "She carried a huge burden as a favorite, and executed a flawless race plan, showing her confidence, maturity, and belief in herself". During the event, she will be competing with two other US athletes against 52 other competitors.

"She has a reason to be disappointed, but she should be really proud of what she accomplished to be here to do it so quickly", he said. Running into a headwind, with neither wanting to lead, they were seen chatting, and both said it was a mental game. "I've now got one - and she's got two". "I never think you have a flawless race, it was a fun race for sure", said Jorgensen. "And it's fair enough. I tried to go with every single person who passed me, but it didn't last very long".

Gwen Jorgensen, the 30 year-old American and already utterly dominant in the event, controlled the run as expected, breaking clear towards the end of the 10km run to win by 40 seconds from Nicola Spirig from Switzerland - the gold medal victor in London four years ago. Her pursuit compelled her to search for a coach on the other side of that world and to train with a group of young, hungry Australians who refer to her as "grandma" because she is 30 years old and consistently early to bed.

Jorgensen had controlled all that she could control. "Aug. 20. I wanted to cross that line, I wanted to get a gold medal". "To be able to actually execute on the day is pretty unbelievable".

Four seconds is virtually nothing for a gifted runner like Gwen Jorgensen. "To be able to perform on the day is something pretty unbelievable".

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After an All-American track career at the University of Wisconsin, where she also was on the swim team for three years, Jorgensen settled into her first job as an accountant for Ernst & Young in Milwaukee in 2010.

Spirig cruised in for the silver at 1:56:56, becoming the first female to win more than one Olympic medal. "After London I said I wanted to go to Rio and wanted to win gold".

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

Vicky Holland of Great Britain was third with a time of 1:57:01.

Who are the ones to watch?

"I don't think I could ask much more of myself".

"It's nearly inevitable. I've seen it in so many races". I knew she is an extremely strong runner, so I had to try everything, and I think I did all I could.

Katie Zaferes, a 27-year-old Maryland native, finished 18th with a time of 2:00:55 in her Olympic debut.

But against Jorgensen, this was never going to be a two-horse triathlon war she could win. Initial reports that she had crashed were incorrect.

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