Gwen Jorgensen Wins US Its First Ever Triathlon Gold

She was a massive 40 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 20, 2016 12:29 PM CDT
Gwen Jorgensen Wins US Its First Ever Triathlon Gold
Gwen Jorgensen of the United States, left, exits the water during the women's triathlon competition of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Gwen Jorgensen gave the US its first Olympic triathlon gold medal Saturday, crushing the field at breezy Copacabana Beach in 1 hour, 56 minutes, and 16 seconds, the AP reports. Nicola Spirig of Switzerland, who won gold in London four years ago when Jorgensen was bamboozled by a flat tire, crossed 40 seconds later for the silver medal. Vicky Holland out sprinted British teammate Non Stanford to win the bronze. The Olympic triathlon is a three-stage race involving biking, running, and swimming.

Jorgensen was drafting with Spirig for the entire run after they dismounted their bikes together but after smiling at Spirig with about two kilometers left, Jorgensen made her breakaway and wouldn't be challenged. As she approached the blue ribbon, the former All-American track athlete and swimmer at the University of Wisconsin turned and Spirig wasn't anywhere in sight. Jorgensen flipped up her goggles, acknowledged the cheers with a wide smile, and grabbed the tape above her head after crossing the finish. The only other American to win an Olympic triathlon medal was Susan Williams, the silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Games. (Read more Rio Olympics stories.)

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