Gwen Jorgensen extended her unprecedented World Triathlon Series winning streak to nine races, prevailing by 73 seconds in Yokohama, Japan, on Saturday.
The 2012 Olympian notched her 12th career win in 28 World Triathlon Series starts. She hasn’t lost a WTS race since April 26, 2014. She extended the longest men’s or women’s win streak in series history (the series started in 2009), a run that started in Yokohama last year.
“The whole race hurt, it hurt a lot,” Jorgensen said in a finish-area interview on a rainy day in Yokohama. “Every race I get very nervous.”
Can she go through a season unbeaten?
“That is a strange question,” she said, laughing, after her fourth win of 2015, with no more than five WTS events left this year. “I can’t control what the other girls do. All I can do is do my best in everything, and if somebody beats me, that’s awesome.”
Pre-WTS, Australian Emma Carney and Portugual’s Vanessa Fernandes were unbeaten across 12 straight International Triathlon Union World Cup races, but they lost separate World Championships races during those streaks.
On Saturday, Jorgensen was 16 seconds behind the leader after the opening 1500m swim and was in the lead group after the 40km bike. Jorgensen is unquestionably the best runner in the sport, perhaps in its history.
She set the standard again on her feet in the 10km on Saturday, pulling away in the first few kilometers and having the win wrapped up before the fourth and final lap, high-fiving fans on the final straightaway. She was 1:19 faster in the 10km than anybody else in the field.
Australian Ashleigh Gentle was a distant second place, her first World Triathlon Series podium. Australian Emma Moffatt was third (full results here).
The other top triathletes this season — Americans Katie Zaferes and Sarah True — were not in the field in Yokohama.
Jorgensen is a heavy favorite to become the first U.S. Olympic triathlon champion at Rio 2016. The sport debuted at the Olympics at Sydney 2000. Jorgensen, a former Ernst & Young accountant who started competing in triathlons in 2010, finished 38th at the London Olympics, deflated by a flat tire on the bike.
The World Triathlon Series continues with a stop in London in two weeks.