Gwen Jorgensen
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What Gwen Jorgensen asked Ironman star Mirinda Carfrae

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Gwen Jorgensen, an overwhelming Olympic gold-medal favorite who hasn’t lost a top-level international triathlon since April 2014, felt like an underdog at a special November competition.

At the Island House Invitational in the Bahamas, Jorgensen faced a unique field including Olympic-distance rivals like London silver medalist Lisa Norden as well as Ironman champions Leanda Cave and Mirinda Carfrae.

The new event was foreign to Jorgensen, a three-day stage race a month and a half after the conclusion of her grueling and undefeated international season.

“I didn’t think I was going to win,” she said.

Husbands and wives of the men’s and women’s competitors made predictions as well. Even Jorgensen’s husband, Patrick Lemieux, didn’t pick her.

Yet Jorgensen prevailed by 34 seconds over Norden after nearly 3 hours, 30 minutes of combined racing over three days.

The format ended up favoring the Olympic-distance triathletes over the Ironman field, understandable given the Island House event was less than a month removed from the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

The full Ironman takes the top women about nine hours to complete. Jorgensen’s usual races last one hour (sprint distance) or two hours (Olympic distance).

The event provided an opportunity for Jorgensen, arguably en route to becoming the greatest female Olympic-level triathlete of all time, to face the Australian Carfrae, the Ironman Kona course-record holder and one of four women to own at least three Kona titles.

Jorgensen has not expressed interest in moving up to Ironman, like so many Olympians have done. Most notable is Jan Frodeno, who last year became the first person to couple Olympic and Ironman Kona triathlon titles.

But she wanted to speak with Carfrae.

“I know everything about [Ironman triathletes],” Jorgensen said. “I feel like I’m stalker-ish almost. … When you’re in the triathlon world, you hear about them all. So it was nice to actually meet them.

“I talked a lot about what happens in Kona. I said, ‘Are you doing interviews the day before a race? How do you handle that the morning of a race?’ [Carfrae’s] like, ‘Well, the morning of the race, Gwen, we start early in the morning.’ Just something that I don’t even think of. My races don’t start until 4 [p.m.], or [11 a.m.]. So I’m thinking you have all morning, but they obviously don’t. I definitely picked her brain.”

MORE: Gwen Jorgensen on nearly quitting triathlon in 2014

Joey Mantia extends U.S. medal streak at speed skating worlds; Dutch dominance returns

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Joey Mantia ensured the host U.S. finished with a medal at the world single distances championships. Ireen WüstKjeld Nuis and Jorrit Bergsma ensured the Netherlands finished atop the medal standings.

Mantia joined Shani Davis as the only U.S. men to earn individual medals at three different editions of the championships, taking bronze in the 1500m on the last day of the speed skating meet at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Mantia won the mass start at the last two worlds in 2017 and 2019 (and finished fifth on Sunday, after the 1500m bronze).

Mantia clocked a personal best 1:42.16 in the fifth of 12 pairs of the 1500m. It held up until Nuis (1:41.66) and countryman Thomas Krol (1:41.73) in the last two pairs.

“Was starting to think that I’m so old that I can’t time trial anymore,” Mantia, a 34-year-old whose last 1500m personal best came in 2015, told media in Utah. “Maybe there’s a little bit of hope left.”

Mantia’s medal extended the U.S. streak of making the podium at every world championships this millennium — 16 straight. The single bronze is the smallest medal output since 2000.

Full results are here.

Wüst and Nuis gave the Dutch a sweep of the men’s and women’s 1500m titles, two years after they did the same at the PyeongChang Olympics. Bergsma, an Olympic and world 10,000m champion, earned his first global medal of any color — gold — in the 16-lap mass start.

The Netherlands failed to earn any golds on the first two days of the four-day competition. The dominant Dutch, who topped the medal standings at every Olympics and worlds dating to the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, entered Sunday trailing Russia.

But Wüst began the day by clocking 1:50.92 to win the 1500m by .21 over Russian Yevgenia Lalenkova. American medal hope Brittany Bowe, the 2015 World champion who took bronze last year, finished 14th a day after taking eighth in her world-record 1000m distance.

Nuis and Krol went one-two in the men’s 1500m to tie Russia’s medal total. Then Irene Schouten took bronze in the women’s mass start to put the Netherlands ahead for good, followed by Bergsma’s capper.

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MORE: Shani Davis retires, takes new role in speed skating

Netherlands on the board; more world records at speed skating worlds

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It took four world records from other countries before the Netherlands won its first title in an Olympic program event at the world single distances speed skating championships.

Jutta Leerdam got the dominant skating nation on the board on the third day of the four-day competition and in the ninth Olympic program event. Leerdam scored an upset over defending champion and world-record holder Brittany Bowe, the American who ended up eighth.

Leerdam, 21, prevailed despite having zero World Cup podiums to her name. She clocked 1:11.84, just .23 slower than Bowe’s world record set on the same Utah Olympic Oval last year. Bowe, who recently had her yearlong win streak snapped in the 1000m, finished in 1:12.92.

“It’s a nightmare,” Bowe said, according to media on site.

Later, the Netherlands won the men’s team pursuit in a world record 3:34.68, the fifth world record in Olympic events the last two days on the world’s fastest ice at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Full results are here.

The world championships conclude Sunday, highlighted by American Joey Mantia defending his world title in the mass start.

In other Saturday events, both the men’s 1000m and women’s 5000m world records fell. On Friday, world records were lowered in the men’s 10,000m and women’s team pursuit.

Pavel Kulizhnikov followed his Friday world 500m title with the 1000m crown, repeating his double gold from 2016. Kulizhnikov was one of the Russians banned from the PyeongChang Olympics after he served a prior doping ban.

On Saturday, Kulizhnikov clocked 1:05.69 to take .49 off Dutchman Kjeld Nuis‘ record from last March, also set at Salt Lake City. Nuis, the Olympic 1000m and 1500m champion, took silver, 1.03 seconds behind.

Russian Natalya Voronina and Czech Martina Sablikova both went under Sablikova’s world record in the 5000m. Voronina came out on top in 6:39.02, 2.99 seconds faster than Sablikova’s record from a year ago and 2.16 seconds faster than Sablikova on Saturday.

Voronina’s time would have been the men’s world record as recently as 1993. Sablikova won the previous 10 world titles in the event dating to 2007.

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MORE: World Single Distances Championships broadcast schedule