Gwen Jorgensen, Sarah True, Katie Zaferes

Gwen Jorgensen leads historic U.S. triathlon sweep at Gold Coast

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Only one flag was raised at the medal ceremony.

“The rumor was they didn’t even have three USA flags, so hopefully they’ll get three for next time,” Gwen Jorgensen said, according to The Associated Press.

The World champion Jorgensen won her eighth straight World Triathlon Series event and, for the first time, was joined by two countrywomen on the podium in Gold Coast, Australia, on Saturday.

Jorgensen, Sarah True and Katie Zaferes made up the second-ever medals sweep by one nation in a men’s or women’s World Triathlon Series event (the series started in 2009, and Gold Coast marked the 50th stop).

Jorgensen prevailed by 1 minute, 18 seconds, winning so easily that she crossed the finish line of the 10km run after several high-fives with fans and with her sunglasses perched on her hair (full results here).

Jorgensen was in the lead pack after the 1500m swim and the 43km bike, and she’s the greatest runner in the world. She had to serve a 15-second penalty during her run because her bike fell in the transition zone, but nobody was going to catch her.

“I don’t think you ever have a perfect race, but I was really thrilled to come out of the water and be in the front pack right away,” Jorgensen said in a finish-area interview.

Jorgensen notched her 11th career win in 27 World Triathlon Series starts. She hasn’t lost a WTS race since April 26. She extended the longest men’s or women’s win streak in series history. Pre-WTS, Australian Emma Carney was unbeaten across 12 straight International Triathlon Union World Cup races in 1995-96, but she did not win the separate World Championships races those years.

“You don’t think about that,” Jorgensen said of her streak. “When you say it, it sounds really weird. You look back at some of the triathlon legends, and it doesn’t seem like I’m at that level at all.”

True, who was the top American at the 2012 Olympics (fourth) and second in last year’s overall standings behind Jorgensen, made the podium for the first time in three tries this year.

Jorgensen, 28, and True, 33, went one-two at last season’s WTS event in London.

“And I knew that Katie is a podium athlete; it’s just a matter of time,” said True, who finished ninth and eighth in the first two events this season. “Those of us who are 30-plus, it takes us a little while to get warmed up to the season. … I’m actually ahead of where I thought I’d be.”

Zaferes made the podium for the third time in as many races this season. She was second to Jorgensen in the first two events in Abu Dhabi and Auckland. Zaferes finished 18 seconds behind True.

The only other time one nation swept a World Triathlon Series podium came in 2011, when three Australian Emmas did so — Emma Moffatt, Emma Jackson and Emma Snowsill.

In the men’s Gold Coast race, Olympic bronze medalist Jonathan Brownlee captured his second straight victory, topping Spain’s Mario Mola and Javier Gomez (full results here).

U.S. mile record holder Alan Webb failed to finish the race in his second career World Triathlon Series start.

The World Triathlon Series continues with a stop in Cape Town, South Africa, in two weeks.

Video: President Obama meets Usain Bolt

Javier Fernandez, Alina Zagitova highlight action at European Championships

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Spain’s Javier Fernandez competes for what is expected to be the final time this weekend at the European Figure Skating Championships in Minsk, Belarus. Olympic champion Alina Zagitova of Russia is also looking to defend her title in the ladies’ field.

NBC Sports Gold’s “Figure Skating Pass” will live stream every program starting on Wednesday, and NBCSN and NBC will also have coverage.

MORE: Schedule/ How to watch

Men

Fernandez, the 2018 PyeongChang bronze medalist, owns six European titles. No man since Austrian Karl Schaefer – who won eight consecutive European titles beginning in 1929 – has won as many straight titles as Fernandez. Fernandez traded world titles during the last Olympic quadrennial with his training partner Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan. They both train in Toronto under Brian Orser.

Also in the field are Michal Brezina from the Czech Republic, who most recently finished fourth at the Grand Prix Final at age 28, and three Russian men: Mikhail Kolyada, Maxim Kovtun, and Alexander Samarin.

Ladies

Reigning Olympic gold medalist Zagitova could lead a Russian podium sweep at the 2019 European Championships with teammates Stanislava Konstantinova and Sofia Samodurova.

The competition-within-the-competition at Europeans is also notable: Russia will not choose their World team until after the event. For example, two-time world champion Yevgenia Medvedeva is not competing at Europeans, and 2015 world champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva was already told to train for Worlds despite not competing at Europeans.

Pairs

French pair Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres will try and buck a trend at Europeans, where teams representing Russia or the Soviet Union have won 47 of the last 54 titles. Russians Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov are looking for a three-peat, though have been inconsistent so far this season and recently returned to last season’s short program.

James and Cipres missed out on bronze by 0.01 points at the 2018 Europeans, and could become the first French pair to win the event since 1932. The last non-Russian team to win Europeans was Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy in 2011.

Ice dance

Three-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France should coast to the gold medal in Minsk for a fifth consecutive title. Other dance teams have won more European titles, but no team has ever won five in a row.

The rest of the podium is more unclear. The Italians, Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri, will likely split the difference between the two Russian teams – who have their own domestic battle to contend with: Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov and Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin.

As a reminder, you can watch the European Championships live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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How to watch the European Figure Skating Championships

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Javier Fernandez returns to competition for probably a final time with his eyes on a seventh title at the European Figure Skating Championships in Minsk, Belarus Jan. 23-27.

Olympic champion Alina Zagitova looks for a second European title in the ladies’ field, while two couples from France look to top the podiums in the dance and pairs’ fields.

NBC Sports Gold’s “Figure Skating Pass” will live stream every program from Minsk starting Wednesday with the ladies’ short program.

NBCSN and NBC will also have coverage throughout the weekend.

Preview: Javier Fernandez, Alina Zagitova highlight Europeans

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European Figure Skating Championships broadcast schedule (all times Eastern)

Wednesday

Ladies’ short program: 3 a.m. (GOLD) begins at 4:30 p.m. on NBCSN

Pairs’ short program: 10:45 a.m. (GOLD)

 

Thursday

Men’s short program: 4 a.m. (GOLD) begins at 7 p.m. on NBCSN

Pairs’ free skate: 11 a.m. (GOLD), begins at 11 p.m. on NBCSN

 

Friday

Rhythm dance: 3:30 a.m. (GOLD) begins at 2 p.m. on NBCSN

Ladies’ free skate: 10 a.m. (GOLD) begins at 6 p.m. on NBCSN

 

Saturday

Men’s free skate: 3:15 a.m. (GOLD) begins at 11 a.m. on NBCSN

Free dance: 8:25 a.m. (GOLD)

 

Sunday

Ladies’ and men’s free skate: 1:30 p.m. on NBC