By Brian Mahony on 21/07/15 at 8:35 pm
At the front of the race, again, it was Gwen… but she had to work very hard for it. The reigning ITU World Champion Gwen Jorgensen (USA) continued her exceptional run of form in Hamburg, to take her eleventh consecutive WTS victory. She has won all six of the races she has started in 2015 – only missing the Cape Town leg – and now stands alone in terms of career WTS wins (14) and total medals (17) among female athletes.
Great Britain’s Vicky Holland won the Cape Town race that Gwen missed, and in Hamburg it was Holland who really took the challenge to Jorgensen out on the run course. The five seconds margin at the finish line is the closest anyone has finished to Gwen in her unbeaten streak. Second place also represented the second career WTS podium for Holland, who also improves from tenth to fifth in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings. With her points earned from just three events to date, a year-end World Championship podium position is still a realistic goal if she can produce strong results in Stockholm and Edmonton.
2013 World Champion Non Stanford completed a great day for the British team, bouncing back to form after a poor race in London to complete the podium and earn her first WTS medal since winning the London Grand Final two years ago.
The American team continues to impress with their strength-in-depth. Fourth place in Hamburg for Sarah True was enough for her to leapfrog over Andrea Hewitt to move into third place in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings, with Katie Zaferes earning another strong finish in sixth, though such has been her form this season that is the first time she has been off of the podium in six races.
The biggest move up the rankings after Hamburg was from Australia’s Emma Jackson who jumps 25 places from 88th to 63rd. That said, as a multiple WTS medal winner she will be hoping for better in the remaining events than the 19th place she finished in on Saturday.
There is now an interesting symmetry in the rankings, with the top three positions in both the men’s (Spain) and women’s (USA) standings being filled by one National Federation.
WTS Hamburg proved to be a memorable and historic weekend for the French team.
The race winning performance of Vincent Luis was certainly a breakthrough, but one which should not come as a huge surprise to anyone. Luis had raced three times previously in the WTS in 2015 and recorded podium finishes in every one. Second in Hamburg last year to Alistair Brownlee, Luis was ready to aim one step higher this time around.
In sprinting away from Columbia Threadneedle Rankings leader Javier Gomez with 400m to go, Luis secured his first career WTS victory, which was also the first time a French athlete – male or female – has won a WTS event. With such consistency, Luis has now moved up to fourth place overall in the rankings. With his points standing of 2,910 achieved from just four events, another strong result in either Stockholm or Edmonton would make him a serious challenger for the World Championship title at the Chicago Grand Final.
Other French athletes to excel included the reigning Under-23 World Champion Dorian Coninx and Anthony Pujades. In our report after the previous WTS event in London we highlighted that Dorian’s position earned in Hyde Park, sixth, was a career best WTS finish. He has now improved even further on that with fourth place in Hamburg. Anthony Pujades made it three French athletes in the top ten in Hamburg with seventh, matching his previous best from Stockholm last season. That result also makes Anthony the biggest riser in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings, moving from 79th to 35th position.
To add to the French celebrations, Vincent Luis and Dorian Coninx joined with Audrey Merle and Jeanne Lehair to earn the first Gold medal for France in the Mixed Relay Triathlon World Championships on Sunday.
While he may have lost out in the sprint finish for Gold to Vincent Luis, four-time and reigning World Champion Javier Gomez strengthened his lead in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings with second place. With five events to score plus the Grand Final, Javier is now able to drop his weakest result of the season (sixth in Abu Dhabi), and as a result moves from 3,507 to 3,705 points to extend his lead. Five points scoring results from five podium finishes is exceptional. Javier still has one statistic to crack though – he’s never won a WTS event over the sprint distance!
Javier’s countryman Mario Mola continued with his own run of consistency. Firstly, he is one of just two men to have completed all seven 2015 WTS events. He also continued to show that he is one of the best runners in the sport. Starting the 5km in 18th position from the large chase group on the bike, Mario produced a run split of 13:55 to take the final spot on the podium, his fourth top three finish of the season so far. That represents the fastest run time in the history of the World Triathlon Series, a full 22 seconds quicker than race winner Vincent Luis.
In our last report we highlighted that the pairing of Richard Murray and Henri Schoeman had earned South Africa two top ten finishes in the same WTS event for the first time in over two years. They came very close to repeating that in Hamburg with Schoeman sixth and Murray 11th. The ten seconds penalty Richard had to serve on the run course almost certainly cost him several positions at the finish.
The next stop on the World Triathlon Series is Stockholm, Sweden on August 22nd-23rd over the Olympic distance, and the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report will return then to bring you all of the insights from the Series
The full Columbia Threadneedle Rankings can be accessed at: http://wts.triathlon.org/ColumbiaThreadneedleRankings
This report is brought to you by Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Global Financial Services partner of the ITU World Triathlon Series.
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