Britain's Helen Jenkins won the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship London over the proposed London 2012 Olympic course today (Saturday) in a time of 2:00.34. She finished seven seconds ahead of Gwen Jorgensen of the US, who took silver, with Germany's Anja Dittmer taking bronze.
After six medals in the series, including two silvers in 2011, she ran clear of the field to take the win in front of her home crowd and record her biggest victory since becoming world champion in 2008.
“I’m so happy, it’s really special. I knew I had the form but you have to deliver on the day. It’s unbelievable. The crowd support was amazing,” said Jenkins.
Joining her on the podium was first time medallist Jorgensen who only competed in her first triathlon 17 months ago after being placed on a USA triathlon talent identification programme following a promising athletics career as 5k runner.
Along with Sarah Groff who had a solid race to finish in 7th place , the pair have now secured their places on the USA team for London 2012 having met the qualifying criteria by finishing top two Americans and within the top nine.
A delighted Jorgensen said “I mean it’s just surreal, we have so many great people in the U.S it’s just an honour to be going. It really is surreal and give credit for USAT for coming to me, I mean I wouldn’t have even known about this without them, so it’s awesome.”
Her silver medal is also the highest ITU placing by an American women, beating Sarah Groff’s 3rd in Kitzbuhel.
A large pack of 34 women led by Sarah Haskins and Groff came out of the Serpentine and quickly formed a lead pack on the bike that included Jenkins, Australian’s Emma Moffatt and Emma Snowsill, Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig and Laura Bennett.
The seven lap bike was tactical and with no one to push the pace the chase pack bridged up to see about 50 athletes head into T2 where Jenkins broke up the field to go it alone for the last 2 laps and leave everyone else to fight it out for the podium and qualifying places.
Jorgensen pulled out the fastest run split of the day (33:43) with the veteran Dittmer out sprinting Snowsill, Groff, Emma Jackson and Andrea Hewitt for 3rd. Canada’ s Paula Findlay who won this race and was unbeaten this year came in 29th place, her well documented hip injury clearly hampering her running. Laura Bennett was 24th and Sarah Haskins 34th.
In the overall rankings, Barbara Riveros Diaz held onto her lead with her 12th placed finishand now has 2498 points, Hewitt moves into second place overall with 2493 points. Findlay holds onto third with 2490 points. Jenkins is in fourth with 2346 points.
Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship London - August 6, 2011
Final Results - Elite Women - 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km
Gold - Helen Jenkins (GBR) - 02:00:34
Silver - Gwen Jorgensen (USA) - 02:00:41
Bronze - Anja Dittmer (GER) - 02:00:49
4th - Emma Jackson (AUS) - 02:00:51
5th - Emma Snowsill (AUS) - 02:00:52
6th - Andrea Hewitt (NZL) - 02:00:54
7th - Sarah Groff (USA) - 02:00:58
8th - Nicola Spirig (SUI) - 02:01:04
9th - Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) - 02:01:07
10th - Emmie Charayron (FRA) - 02:01:10
*Photos and story by Danny Ward our British Bureau Chief.