Hamburg

Katie Zaferes
Getty Images

Katie Zaferes wins first World Triathlon Series race; Gwen Jorgensen 3rd

Leave a comment

Katie Zaferes re-established herself as an Olympic medal contender, while Gwen Jorgensen suffered just her second defeat in more than two years at the final World Triathlon Series race before Rio in Hamburg on Saturday.

In a sprint race — half the Olympic distance — Zaferes notched her first career World Series win after five runner-up finishes in 2015. It came after Zaferes missed the podium in her previous two World Series starts — 24th at the 2015 Grand Final in Chicago and sixth in Yokohama, Japan, on May 14.

“This beginning of the year wasn’t what I wanted to be, and I wasn’t racing like the Katie I know I am,” Zaferes told the host broadcast after her Hamburg win in 57 minutes, 3 seconds. “[Today] I was the same person I was last year.”

Zaferes prevailed by 11 seconds over the Netherlands’ Rachel Klamer and by 26 seconds over the world champion Jorgensen, who couldn’t erase all of a 1:02 deficit going into the 5km run. Jorgensen made up 44 places in the standings on the run. Full results are here.

“I’m disappointed, a little bit gutted with my race, but to have Katie cross the line first, definitely bittersweet today” Jorgensen said. “It started in the swim, wasn’t the front pack in the swim, just didn’t have it today. I’m not thrilled.”

Jorgensen was 14 seconds behind after the opening 750-meter swim and lost another 48 seconds on the 20-kilometer bike.

“Rio’s a very different race,” Jorgensen said of what lies ahead Aug. 20, when she could become the first U.S. Olympic triathlon champion. “It’s Olympic distance, big hill, completely different from this race. But obviously I thought I could have done better today.”

Jorgensen lost for the second time in her last four races.

Brit Helen Jenkins, who came into Saturday as the top threat to Jorgensen, finished 14th in Hamburg in their first head-to-head since Jenkins snapped Jorgensen’s two-year, 12-race World Series winning streak on April 9.

The World Triathlon Series continues after the Olympics, in Edmonton the first weekend of September.

MORE: Men’s triathlon world champion out of Rio

A look at the five cities bidding for 2024 Olympics

Olympic flag
1 Comment

The 2024 Olympic bid race ushers in a new era.

Budapest, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome are the finalists, since they submitted bids by the Sept. 15 deadline and the IOC has done away with the “applicant city” phase that it previously used to narrow the field.

However, a specific recommendation may be made by an IOC evaluation commission group to defer a city’s
candidature to a later Olympics. That would come by December 2016.

Outside of that, the five cities, should they decide to stay in the race, will be on the ballot for IOC members at the September 2017 vote in Lima, Peru.

It’s the first Summer Olympic bid cycle for International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, and under his Agenda 2020 reforms.

It’s also the first time since 1992 that none of the finalist host cities were finalists for either of the previous two Olympics. It’s the first time since 1984 that no cities outside of the U.S. and Europe are finalist bidders.

If a European city doesn’t host the 2024 Olympics, it will mark the longest stretch between Olympics for the continent ever, if Moscow 1980 is counted as a European Games.

What’s next? The five cities must submit more documents concerning their bids, followed by IOC evaluation commission visits to the cities between February 2017 and June 2017.

Here’s a look at each bid city:

Budapest

The capital of Hungary, which owns the most Olympic medals of nations that have never hosted an Olympics. It has bid for the Olympics several times and was last a finalist in 1960. Budapest will host the next World Aquatics Championships in 2017.

Hamburg

Germany’s second-largest city by population beat out the largest, Berlin, in a domestic competition to determine its 2024 bidder. Hamburg is the lone first-time bidder in this field of five. It also faces a public vote Nov. 29 that will play a role in if the bid moves forward.

Los Angeles

The U.S.’ only two-time Summer Olympic host was a finalist for the nation’s bid along with Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Boston was announced as the bid in January and backed out in July. The U.S. Olympic Committee quickly turned to Los Angeles, and the bid was announced Sept. 1. Los Angeles hopes to join London as the only three-time Olympic hosts. The U.S., which last hosted the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Games, is in the midst of its longest stretch between hosting Olympics since the 28-year gap between Los Angeles 1932 and the Squaw Valley 1960 Winter Games.

MORE: Los Angeles 2024 bid venue renderings

Paris

The French capital looks to host its third Olympics, on the 100-year anniversary of its last Games in 1924. It was last a finalist in 2008 (third to Beijing) and 2012 (second to London). The Eiffel Tower area was being eyed as a venue.

Rome

The Italian capital’s bid for the 2020 Olympics was dropped due to a lack of government support. Rome also came in second place to Athens in the 2024 host voting. It hosted the Olympics in 1960. Historic sites in the city could be used for the Olympics, such as the Colosseum.

MORE: Toronto opts not to bid for 2024, but 2026 is possible

Gwen Jorgensen (barely) extends triathlon streak; Olympic qualifying next

Leave a comment

Gwen Jorgensen had become so dominant this season that in spring World Triathlon Series races she high-fived spectators with her sunglasses resting on her head before crossing the finish line.

Not so in Hamburg, Germany, on Saturday.

The accountant-turned-World champion won her record-extending 11th straight race, but she was tested like never before during an unbeaten run since her last loss April 26, 2014.

Jorgensen trailed in the final half-mile, and, though she retook the lead from Great Britain’s Vicky Holland, she looked over her shoulder in the final sprint and went just about full speed through the finish line.

Jorgensen, with her Oakleys resting on her nose in more traditional fashion this time, crossed in 57 minutes, 8 seconds. Holland was five seconds behind (full results here). Vincent Luis won the men’s race, becoming the first French athlete to take a World Triathlon Series title.

Jorgensen had won her previous 10 straight races all by at least six seconds, the largest by 1 minute, 38 seconds. This was unfamiliar territory.

“A lot was going through my head,” Jorgensen said of the duel with Holland in a finish-area broadcast interview, a few minutes before being handed a large glass of beer on the podium that she took a sip of and then poured on the second- and third-place finishers. “I was like, when do I kick? What do I do? Is she going to kick first? Yeah, she really pushed me.

“I could feel her there on my shoulder.”

Jorgensen, who finished 38th in her Olympic debut in 2012, her hopes punctured by a flat tire, was eight seconds behind after the 750m swim in Hamburg and four seconds back after the 20km bike. Her strength is the run, and Jorgensen proved it again by outdistancing Brits Holland and third-place Non Stanford after 5km. Though Holland proved pesky, even leading Jorgensen (by no more than a stride) late in the race.

Holland was asked her thoughts on possibly being in a position to beat Jorgensen.

“I thought I had a chance of getting closer, maybe, than anyone has done yet this year,” Holland said. “You can’t underestimate Gwen. She’s unbeaten at the moment.”

Americans Sarah True and Katie Zaferes were fourth and sixth, respectively, as they continued to show Olympic medal-prospect form.

Jorgensen notched her 14th career win in 30 World Triathlon Series starts, extending the longest men’s or women’s win streak in series history.

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.

The World Triathlon Series continues in Stockholm from Aug. 22-23.

More importantly for Jorgensen, she next heads to Rio de Janeiro for the ITU World Olympic Qualification Event on Aug. 2. The top two U.S. finishers in the top eight overall automatically earn a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team.

Jorgensen’s bike helmet includes Paul Bunyan, Bucky Badger