By Erin Greene on 26/08/15 at 8:26 am
Welcome to the sixth Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report of 2015, a new series initiated by Columbia Threadneedle Investments which will be distributed after each ITU World Triathlon Series Event.
Sarah True clearly enjoys Sweden. The 2015 edition of the World Triathlon Stockholm represented her 42nd start in the Series since her first event in Madrid six years ago. It also provided her second career WTS victory, the other coming last year, also in Stockholm. With three podiums and five top-ten finishes this year, Sarah also strengthened her third place in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings with just Edmonton and the Chicago Grand Final remaining. With Gwen Jorgensen having won all six races she has started in 2015, True joins Vicky Holland as the only other athlete to reach the top step of a WTS podium in 2015.
Katie Zaferes continued her incredible run of second place finishes in Stockholm, collecting her fifth silver medal of the season. With a bronze medal from the Gold Coast too, Zaferes has been a model of consistency all year. It also means that the only way she can add to her ranking points before the Grand Final is to win in Edmonton.
Bermuda’s Flora Duffy continues to impress. Third place in the season opener in Abu Dhabi was her first career World Triathlon Series podium, but the consistency of since adding a fifth place (Gold Coast) and fourth place (Stockholm) will surely please her and provide just as much confidence as that single medal did. Those results are reflected in her post-Stockholm ranking, where she gains seven places to hold ninth position with two races remaining.
The biggest move up the rankings after Stockholm was from Australia’s Emma Jackson who jumps 23 places from 63rd to 40th. Does that sound familiar? In our last report we highlighted that Emma was also the biggest mover after Hamburg. Three times a podium finisher on the World Triathlon Series in previous years, Emma has now finished 39th, 19th and 9th in the last three events as she finds the form that earned those medals in prior years. She will be looking forward to the final part of the season with confidence.
The Columbia Threadneedle Rankings continue to provide the symmetry we highlighted previously, with the top three positions in both the men’s (Spain) and women’s (USA) standings being filled by one National Federation. Interestingly, since the inception of the World Triathlon Series in 2009, no country has achieved a clean sweep of the medal positions in the year-end rankings. Will we get two this year?
It is increasingly difficult to come up with new superlatives to adequately reflect the performances and consistency of Javier Gomez. His winning margin in Stockholm was 45 seconds, which is the largest in men’s World Triathlon Series events for more than two years – and he looked very comfortable in the process.
Javier now has a WTS record of 34 podium finishes from 46 race starts (74%), including 12 victories, with those wins achieved across eight different venues.
Stockholm proved to be a good day for two young Australian athletes; Aaron Royle (third) and Ryan Bailie (fifth). That’s the first time that the Australian men have secured two top-five positions in a World Triathlon Series event since Auckland 2014, which was also the race in which Royle secured his only other WTS podium finish. With four top-ten finishes this year, Ryan now holds sixth position in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings.
We know South Africa’s Henri Schoeman is one of the best swimmers in the sport – he led out of the water in Stockholm – but he is also on a great run of improving results once on dry land, too. Over the last four WTS events he has finished 14th, seventh, sixth and finally fourth in Stockholm. That fourth position matched his best previous result achieved two years ago on the infamous Kitzbuhler horn climb in Austria. While Richard Murray may be the most recognized South African athlete on the circuit, Schoeman is now just two places behind him in seventh place in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings.
Just one place behind Henri in the rankings is Portugal’s Joao Pereira. While he had secured three top-ten finishes this year prior to Stockholm, he hadn’t quite hit the heights of his 2014 season which included consecutive podiums in London (bronze) and Chicago (silver), ending last year ranked fifth in the final Series rankings. He returned to the podium with second place in Stockholm, and that also lifted him back into the top ten in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings, leapfrogging the absent Brownlee brothers.
The next stop on the World Triathlon Series is Edmonton, Canada on September 6th over the sprint distance, and the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report will return then to bring you all of the insights from the Series.
Biggest rankings mover: Emma Jackson (AUS) – from 63rd to 40th (667 points)
Biggest rankings mover: Eric Lagerstrom (USA) – from 103rd to 66th (254 points)
The full Columbia Threadneedle Rankings can be accessed at: http://wts.triathlon.org/ColumbiaThreadneedleRankings
This report is brought to you by Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Global Financial Services partner of the ITU World Triathlon Series.
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Find more details about this event - 2015 ITU World Triathlon Stockholm