Flora Duffy

Duffy wins Yokohama in return to ITU World Triathlon Series

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YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Flora Duffy of Bermuda won Saturday’s ITU World Triathlon Series race, finishing almost two minutes ahead of series leader Katie Zaferes of the United States.

Duffy, the 2016 world champion, clocked 1 hour, 56 minutes, 18 seconds in rainy conditions to win her first event of the season after missing the first two races in Abu Dhabi and Australia due to injury.

Zaferes was second in 1:58:09 while Kirsten Kasper, also of the United States, was third in 1:58:17.

“I didn’t know what I would have in the tank for today,” Duffy said. “I was pretty nervous coming into the race today, I felt like a WTS first-timer, but I had to keep reminding myself that I am the world champ and I need to ride with confidence.”

Yuka Sato of Japan placed 13th for the best finish for the host nation while Andrea Hewitt of the New Zealand, who won the previous race in Australia, was 23rd.

Mario Mola of Spain won the men’s event for his second of the season.

Mola, also a winner in Australia, ended in 1:48:15 to edge compatriot Fernando Alarza, who was second in 1:48.23. Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt was third in 1:48.26.

The series continues on June 10 in Leeds, England, the fourth of nine World Triathlon Series races this year.

MORE: Gwen Jorgensen pregnant, to sit out 2017 triathlon season

Gwen Jorgensen denied third straight World Triathlon Championship

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Gwen Jorgensen‘s bid for an unprecedented third straight world title was denied by Bermuda’s Flora Duffy in the World Triathlon Series Grand Final in steamy Cozumel, Mexico, on Saturday.

Jorgensen, who on Aug. 20 became the first American to win an Olympic triathlon title, finished second to Duffy in the last competition of the season.

“I told myself at the beginning of the year I’d be happy if I won nothing but the Olympics, so I should be happy,” Jorgensen told the host broadcaster. “I’m obviously disappointed right now.”

Duffy came into Cozumel with a lead in the season-long world championship standings and the knowledge that she would clinch her first world title by finishing within one spot of Jorgensen on Saturday.

“I’m kind of speechless right now,” Duffy said. “I have no idea how that happened. You always hope and wish and train for the perfect day. The perfect day came exactly when I needed it, when the pressure was on.”

Full Cozumel results are here.

Jorgensen, who won 13 straight top-level triathlons in 2014 and 2015, faced the deficit in large part because she skipped half of the eight previous World Series races this season.

The best way to accumulate points toward the world title is to add up one’s top five finishes in World Series races, plus the Grand Final. Because she competed in not five but four World Series races before the Grand Final, Jorgensen had to count fewer points from a lower-level World Cup race.

Jorgensen was trying to become the first woman to win three straight world titles and the second to win three titles overall, joining Australian Emma Snowsill.

Jorgensen has expressed a desire to start a family, but she has at least two more competitions lined up this fall: a three-day triathlon stage race in the Bahamas from Oct. 28-30, followed by her marathon debut at the New York City Marathon the following weekend.

MORE: U.S. pair wins debut of Paralympic women’s triathlon races

Gwen Jorgensen erases largest deficit in history to win Leeds triathlon

Gwen Jorgensen
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Gwen Jorgensen scored the largest come-from-behind victory in World Triathlon Series history Sunday, erasing a 100-second deficit going into the 10km run and winning by 51 seconds in Leeds, Great Britain.

“It’s great to come into these races, get exposed a little bit and see where I can improve,” Jorgensen said in a broadcast interview shortly after finishing.

The two-time reigning World champion was 92 seconds behind three women after the 1500m swim and 40km bike and dropped to 100 seconds back after the transition from the bike to the run.

Jorgensen, favored to become the first U.S. Olympic triathlon champ on Aug. 20 in Rio, easily erased the lead and beat Bermuda’s Flora Duffy by a comfortable 51 seconds for her 17th career World Series win.

“Starting the run with Gwen behind you is always a bit of a terrifying thing,” Duffy said.

It marked the exact same deficit to the same amount of triathletes that Jorgensen faced April 9, when she lost for the only time since April 2014.

A big difference Sunday was that the woman who beat Jorgensen on April 9, Great Britain’s Helen Jenkins, was not in the field in Leeds.

The ITU World Series continues in Stockholm in three weeks.

MORE: Jorgensen: I debated quitting triathlon in 2014