By Brian Mahony on 14/04/15 at 8:20 pm
Welcome to the first Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report, a new series initiated by Columbia Threadneedle Investments which will be posted after each ITU World Triathlon Series event.
The Report will review the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings and results to identify trends and spot interesting statistics and stories as the 2015 season develops.
The 2015 season continues to be dominated by Team USA. A podium sweep on the Gold Coast from Gwen Jorgensen, Sarah True and Katie Zaferes represents only the second time in WTS history that one country has filled all of the podium spots in one race. World Triathlon Hamburg 2011 and the famous ‘three Emma’s’ – Snowsill, Jackson and Moffatt for Australia – was the only previous single country podium domination.
Of the nine WTS podium medals presented so far from the three races in 2015, the U.S. women have now earned seven, taking their medal haul since 2009 to 23. That domination is reflected in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings after Gold Coast, with four U.S. women in the top ten positions. The contrast with the U.S. men is quite stark, with Jarrod Shoemaker’s 2009 World Triathlon Hamburg gold being their only medal to date.
It was also a good day on the Gold Coast for the Dutch. Rachel Klamer (sixth) moved up 17 places in the Rankings to 14th, while Maaike Caelers (tenth) moved up 13 places to 20th, both having their best results of 2015 to date. While, predictably, Gwen Jorgensen had the fastest run of the day, Caelers also had a great day on the run course. Her 34:01 split was more than 30 seconds faster than anyone other than Gwen and allowed her to gain 17 places over 10km, having left T2 in 27th position. Caelers is definitely one to watch as the season progresses.
The biggest move up the Rankings after the Gold Coast was from Japan’s Juri Ide. A rapid progression of 52nd / 31st / 11th place-finishes has moved her up from 45th to 24th after three races. Ide has earned three bronze medals in her WTS career to date, so expect her to continue to improve as the season develops.
Another athlete in form is Ireland’s Aileen Reid. Like Ide, she has improved in every race (24th / 15th / 7th) and is now ranked 10th ahead of the next event in Cape Town. With three previous WTS podium finishes on her CV, Reid certainly has the pedigree to move further up the rankings as the season progresses.
Finally, Flora Duffy continues to impress. After securing Bermuda’s first ever WTS podium finish with third place in Abu Dhabi, Flora skipped the Auckland race but returned to produce another impressive performance with fifth on the Gold Coast, proving her effort in the UAE was no one off. Those results leave Duffy currently in fifth place overall in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings, but as the only athlete amongst the top ten with only two scoring events to date, she has potential to improve further still.
If the U.S. women are dominating the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings so far in 2015, for the men the standout nation is Spain.
While the performances of Javier Gomez and Mario Mola are almost expected based upon their impressive results in recent years, the Spanish strength-in-depth is now clear with the performances of Fernando Alarza and Vicente Hernandez this year. That grouping now holds four of the top eight positions in the Rankings after Gold Coast, repeating their Abu Dhabi feat of finishing with four athletes in the top ten positions. To put that progress into context, the Spanish men had never achieved that once in the previous six WTS seasons – which should make qualifying and selection for Rio 2016 highly competitive, with a maximum of three spots available per National Federation.
With a fourth place finish after a tough battle with Gomez on the run, Vicente Hernandez secured his best ever WTS result in Australia. For Fernando Alarza, his seventh place on the Gold Coast makes him the only man aside from Gomez and Brownlee to have finished in the top ten in all three 2015 WTS races to date.
While the Spanish may be dominating in numbers, Great Britain’s Brownlee extended his Rankings lead with a second consecutive win. His Gold Coast victory also marks a personal milestone as it was his 10th career WTS win. That total matches the 10 wins earned by Javier Gomez, though still leaves the pair trailing the incredible figure of 17 WTS wins by Alistair Brownlee.
The biggest Rankings mover was Argentina’s Gonzalo Raul Tellechea, who gains 26 places from 53rd to 27th. Appropriately, his 16th place finish on the Gold Coast equals his best ever WTS result.
One of the most impressive races of the day was from Australia’s Courtney Atkinson. An Olympian in 2008 and 2012, Atkinson returned to the World Triathlon Series for the first time since Hamburg 2012 and gained a very encouraging 10th place finish, just edged out for first Aussie on home soil by Ryan Bailie. Atkinson has his sights set on a third Olympic Games appearance – and his performance after so long away from this style of racing suggests that is quite a realistic target.
The next stop on the World Triathlon Series is Cape Town, South Africa on April 25th-26th, and the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report will be back then to bring you all the insights from the Series.
Columbia Threadneedle Rankings following ITU World Triathlon, Gold Coast
1st – Gwen Jorgensen (USA) 2400
2nd – Katie Zaferes (USA) 2165
3rd – Andrea Hewitt (NZL) 1904
4th – Sarah True (USA) 1633
5th – Flora Duffy (BER) 1271
6th – Barbara Riveros (CHI) 1202
7th – Lindsey Jerdonek (USA) 1174
8th – Emma Moffatt (AUS) 1025
9th – Yuka Sato (JPN) 1021
10th – Aileen Reid (IRL) 903
Biggest rankings mover: Jure Ide (JPN) – from 45th to 24th (444 points)
1st – Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 2186
2nd – Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) 1967
3rd – Mario Mola (ESP) 1809
4th – Fernando Alarza (ESP) 1635
5th – Ryan Bailie (AUS) 1305
6th – Richard Murray (RSA) 1271
7th – Pierre Le Corre (FRA) 1227
8th – Vicente Hernandez (ESP) 1062
9th – Crisanto Grajales (MEX) 1000
10th – Richard Varga (SVK) 903
Biggest rankings mover: Gonzalo Raul Tellechea (ARG) – from 53rd to 27th (314 points)
The full Columbia Threadneedle Rankings can be accessed at: http://wts.triathlon.org/ColumbiaThreadneedleRankings
Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the Global Financial Services partner of the ITU World Triathlon Series.
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