Helen Jenkins wins Gold Coast leg of World Triathlon Series
GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) Helen Jenkins won the World Triathlon Series race on the Gold Coast on Saturday, extending her duel with Jodie Stimpson for the third and final spot on Britain's team for the Rio Olympics.
In the men's race, No. 1-ranked Mario Mola, who also took out the opening World Series event in Abu Dhabi in early March, won in a time of 1 hour, 46 minutes, 28 seconds.
Fellow Spaniard Fernando Alarza was 27 seconds behind, while defending Gold Coast champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Jonathan Brownlee of Britain was third, 41 seconds behind Mola.
Mola remained undefeated in 2016 in three races - he also won the Mooloolaba World Cup race north of Brisbane as well as in Abu Dhabi.
''Jonny (Brownlee) was really strong during most of the run,'' Mola said. ''I'm happy for Fernando that he got second place. I felt great during the whole race. I tried to stay in the front as much as I could on the bike in order to make it a 10-k run, and things went well.''
Jenkins, winning her first World Triathlon Series race since 2012, finished in a time of 1:56.03, 41 seconds ahead of American Gwen Jorgensen, with New Zealander Andrea Hewitt another second back in third.
With two spots on Britain's Rio team already taken, Stimpson, who finished 12th Saturday, or Jenkins will likely be the third member, with the announcement due in early June. Stimpson won in Abu Dhabi while Jenkins was third.
''I can't quite believe it,'' Jenkins said. ''I did not have the best swim today, and then on the bike, because it was so technical, it was just as hard even if you were at the front. And I got to the run and just went for it. But the whole time I was waiting for Gwen, you can never underestimate how quick Gwen's running is.''
Jorgensen said the heat made it a tough race.
''I was just trying to run as fast as I could, a lot goes through your head and it is hot out there,'' Jorgensen said. ''They were running amazing and they just had a great race. It didn't even look like I was gaining any ground on Helen.''
Emma Moffatt, who won bronze in Beijing in 2008, finished seventh Saturday and has qualified for her third Olympics for Australia.
''I tried not to think about it, I was blocking those thoughts until I crossed the line,'' Moffatt, 31, said of the Olympic berth. ''My aim was to come into this race and try to get that automatic spot, to eliminate any doubt or political issue.''