Gwen Jorgensen
Getty Images

Gwen Jorgensen back on top; U.S. Olympic men’s triathlon team set

Leave a comment

Gwen Jorgensen started what she hopes is a new winning streak Saturday, dominating in her typical style.

The World champion won a World Triathlon Series event in Yokohama, Japan, by 78 seconds in her first competition since her 13-race winning streak was snapped April 9. Full results are here.

Also Saturday, Joe MaloyBen Kanute and Greg Billington clinched the three U.S. Olympic men’s triathlon berths, joining Jorgensen, Sarah True and a to-be-named third woman on the Rio team. The complete U.S. Olympic roster is now at 126 qualified athletes.

Jorgensen made no mention of her previous streak, or her surprising runner-up finish five weeks ago, in a post-victory interview in Yokohama.

“There’s one goal for the year, and that’s the Olympics on August 20th,” said Jorgensen, seeking to become the first U.S. Olympic triathlon champion. “Just going to keep building towards that.”

Jorgensen was her usual dominating force en route to her fourth straight Yokohama title, in her fastest-ever time racing in Japan, where her record streak began in 2014.

She quickly erased a five-second deficit following the 1500m swim and 40km bike and gradually increased her lead during the 10km run, her specialty. Her winning margin was among the largest of her 16 career World Triathlon Series victories.

Jorgensen had enough of a cushion that she high-fived fans on both sides of the final ramp shortly before grabbing the finishing tape at the line. She did not appear to be breathing heavily.

Commentators on site marveled that Jorgensen wasn’t sweating and had time to put on a hat before the second- and third-place triathletes completed the course in exhaustion more than one minute later.

However, the Yokohama field did not include Great Britain’s Helen Jenkins, who snapped Jorgensen’s win streak in Gold Coast, Australia, on April 9. Jorgensen’s winning time on Saturday — 1:56:02 — was one second faster than Jenkins’ winning time in Gold Coast.

The second-highest U.S. finisher was Katie Zaferes in sixth place. Jorgensen, True and Zaferes are the only active U.S. women to make a World Triathlon Series podium, all having done so at least five times in the last two years, but only Jorgensen and True have clinched Olympic spots.

Zaferes will be the third Olympian unless USA Triathlon opts for a lesser-accomplished domestique for the final Rio spot.

Maloy was the top American in the men’s race in 11th place on Saturday. All three U.S. Olympic team men’s members are first-time Olympians.

An American man has never won an Olympic triathlon medal, and no U.S. man has made the podium of a World Series event since 2009.

MORE: What Jorgensen asked Ironman star Mirinda Carfrae

Noah Lyles raises black-gloved fist, wins 200m in Monaco

Leave a comment

Noah Lyles said he had plans going forward to make statements, beyond his rapid sprint times. He did that in Monaco on Friday.

Lyles raised a black, fingerless-gloved right fist before getting into the blocks to win a 200m in his first international race of the season, conjuring memories of the famous 1968 Olympic podium gesture.

He clocked 19.76 seconds, leading a one-two with younger brother Josephus. Full results are here.

“As athletes it’s hard to show that you love your country and also say that change is needed,” was posted on Lyles’ Instagram, along with hashtags including #blacklivesmatter. “This is my way of saying this country is great but it can be better.”

Lyles, the world 200m champion, also paid respect to 1968 Olympic 200m gold and bronze medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos three hours before the race.

He tweeted an iconic image of Smith and Carlos raising their single black-gloved fists on the medal stand at the Mexico City Games. Thirteen minutes earlier, Lyles posted an Instagram Story image of his socks for the meet — plain, dark colored.

Smith and Carlos wore black socks without shoes on the podium to signify endemic poverty back in the U.S. at the time.

Lyles is known for his socks, often posting images of colorful pairs he wears before races, themes including Speed Racer, R2-D2 and Sonic the Hedgehog.

“We are at the point where you can’t do nothing anymore,” Lyles said Wednesday. “There aren’t any rules set out. You’re kind of just pushing the boundary as far as you can go. Some people have said, even if there were rules, they’re willing to go farther than that.”

MORE: Noah, Josephus Lyles take 4-year journey to Monaco

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!


Joshua Cheptegei breaks 5000m world record in Monaco

Leave a comment

Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei broke a 16-year-old world record in the 5000m by nearly two seconds, clocking 12:35.36 in Monaco on Friday.

Cheptegei, the 2019 World 10,000m champion who reportedly needed 80 hours to travel from Uganda for the Diamond League meet, took 1.99 seconds off Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele‘s world record from 2004. Bekele is also the 10,000m world-record holder and the second-fastest marathoner in history.

“It took a lot of mind setting to keep being motivated this year because so many people are staying at home, but you have to stay motivated,” Cheptegei said, according to organizers. “I pushed myself, I had the right staff with me, the right coach.”

Cheptegei, 23, came into Monaco as the 73rd-fastest man in history with a personal best of 12:57.41. But he declared before the meet that the world record was his goal, given he had no Olympics or world championships to peak for this year.

“It is very difficult to run any world record,” was posted on the Instagram of Bekele, who is part of the NN Running Team with Cheptegei. “Congratulations to my teammate [Cheptegei].”

Full Monaco results are here. The Diamond League next moves to Stockholm on Aug. 23.

In other events Friday, Noah Lyles easily won a 200m after raising a black-gloved first before the start. More on Lyles’ gesture and victory here.

Donavan Brazier extended a year-plus 800m win streak, clocking 1:43.15 and holding off countryman Bryce Hoppel by .08. Brazier won his last seven meets, including national, world and Diamond League titles in 2019, when he broke a 34-year-old American record.

Olympic silver medalist Orlando Ortega of Spain won the 110m hurdles in 13.11 seconds, overtaking world champion Grant Holloway. Holloway, who won worlds in 13.10 last autumn, finished fourth in 13.19.

Timothy Cheruiyot followed his 2019 World title by clocking his second-fastest 1500m ever. The Kenyan recorded 3:28.45, holding off Norwegian 19-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who set a European record of 3:28.68.

Sifan Hassan, the world’s top female distance runner, dropped out of the 5000m with two and a half laps left while in the lead pack. Two-time world champion Hellen Obiri won in 14:22.12, surging past Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey on the final lap.

Karsten Warholm ran the joint eighth-fastest 400m hurdles in history, a 47.10 against a field that lacked rivals Rai Benjamin and Abderrahman Samba. Warholm, the two-time world champion, ranks second in history with a personal best of 46.92, trailing only American Kevin Young‘s 46.78 from the 1992 Olympics.

American Lynna Irby won her Diamond League debut with a 50.50 in the 400m. Irby, the second-fastest American in 2018, failed to make the 2019 World team. On Friday, she beat Wadeline Jonathas, the top American in 2019.

Pole vault world-record holder Mondo Duplantis needed three tries to clear 5.70 meters, then won with a 5.80-meter clearance (and then cleared six meters). Duplantis, whose mom drove his poles 25 hours from Sweden to Monaco, brought the world record to 6.18 meters in February.

American Sam Kendricks, two-time reigning world pole vault champion, did not compete because his poles did not arrive.

MORE: Noah, Josephus Lyles take 4-year journey to Monaco

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!