By Erin Greene on 03/06/15 at 8:19 am
Welcome to the fourth Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report of 2015, reviewing trends and providing insights from World Triathlon London.
Once again, we have to start with Gwen Jorgensen! Another Gwensanity masterclass in London from the reigning ITU World Champion and Columbia Threadneedle Rankings leader was her 10th consecutive WTS victory. She now matches the career WTS medals record of Australia’s Emma Moffat with 16 in total, 13 of those being victories. With five wins already in 2015, Gwen will have the maximum number of rankings points possible (4000), when she races at the Chicago Grand Final.
The US became the first National Federation to sweep the podium twice in one season. Joining Jorgensen on the podium, this time around Katie Zaferes was able to get the better of Sarah True for the silver medal. It’s a remarkable run of U.S. consistency which has resulted in the Stars and Stripes earning 12 of the 18 women’s medals awarded in WTS events this season.
With four second places and one third from her five race starts to date, Zaferes has an impressive 3645 points herself. Unlike Jorgensen, with three further WTS events ahead of the Chicago Grand Final, she also has scope to potentially improve her points standing too if she can finish in the top two in Hamburg, Stockholm or Edmonton. With her current deficit of 355 points behind Jorgensen, were Zaferes to win the Grand Final, she would be World Champion if Gwen finished outside of the top five.
The London event also represented a super day for Canada. A winner on the London course in 2010, Paula Findlay’s eighth place was her best WTS finish since winning in Kitzbuhel four years ago. That result has also impacted her ranking position positively, gaining 22 places from 56th to 34th. Paula was joined by compatriot Amelie Kretz who crossed the line ninth. That’s the first time that Canada has secured two top ten finishes in the same WTS event since Sydney 2011.
We have mentioned the improving 2015 performances of Ireland’s Aileen Reid in previous reports, and that form line proven to be a good one. Fourth place in London means that she has improved her finishing position in all five of her races this season and is now up to sixth position in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings. If she can continue this run, the next step for her is the podium.
The biggest move up the rankings after London was from Belgium’s Katrien Verstuyft. Like Aileen Reid, Verstuyft has improved in every race she has done this year too (43rd / 40th / 36th / 18th), and jumps 25 places from 81st to 56th thanks to her efforts in Hyde Park.
Great Britain’s 20 year old Sophie Coldwell had a day to remember. Fourth place in the World Junior Championship in 2014, Coldwell was making her debut in the World Triathlon Series on home soil. After a strong swim and cycle which saw her in the leading group of seven at T2, a fast transition saw the young Brit first out on to the run course. Though she couldn’t keep pace with her more experienced competition on the run and would finish 27th, that was an impressive start to her senior career.
Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee‘s dominating performance in London this year just adds further to his incredibly impressive statistics, which now read as 19 wins and 23 medals in total from just 29 WTS starts.
His victory was his third WTS win on the Hyde Park course, which includes his 2012 Olympic Games triumph. He is now up to fifth place in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings despite having only raced three times so far this season. He’ll be looking for at least two good results from Hamburg, Stockholm and Edmonton to challenge current leader Javier Gomez Noya in what could be a very close battle for World Championship honours at the Grand Final in Chicago.
With Gomez absent in London and Mario Mola finishing outside of the top ten, the Spanish headlines this time around go to Fernando Alarza. He has been incredibly consistent this year, never finishing below eighth position despite having raced in all six events. London represented an important breakthrough for Fernando though as second place was the first WTS podium of his career. Though still third in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings to Gomez and Mola, he is now just 18 points behind Mario.
The bronze medallist in London, Vincent Luis, is another who has maintained consistency at the highest level this season. He has raced three times and finished on the podium in every race.
As with the women, Canada can take some comfort from the men’s results too. The tenth place finish from youngster Tyler Mislawchuk was the best result so far in his short senior career and also the first top 10 from a Canadian man in the World Triathlon Series for more than two years.
The South African men can also be content with their London performance. While Richard Murray will be disappointed not to have matched his second place in 2014, he can take consolation that having started the 5km outside of the top 20 at T2, a race-best 14:12 run split took him all the way up to fifth place. His countryman Henri Schoeman – who was in the breakaway group during the swim and bike – finished seventh, the first time the South African men have earned two top ten finishes in the same WTS race for over two years.
Winner of World Championship titles at Junior and Under-23 level respectively over the past two seasons, France’s Dorian Coninx had by far his best result of the season in London. Sixth place in London represents his best WTS finish to date and also makes him the biggest rankings mover after London, climbing 32 places from 57th to 25th.
The next stop on the World Triathlon Series is Hamburg, Germany on July 18th over the sprint distance, and the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report will be back then to bring you all the insights from the Series.
Find more details about this event - 2015 ITU World Triathlon London