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Gwen Jorgensen boosts Paris bid with victory at Americas Triathlon Cup La Habana

American superstar begins what could be a momentous year with encouraging victory in Cuba.

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Gwen Jorgensen started what she hopes will be a massive year with an all-the-way victory at the Americas Triathlon Cup La Habana in Cuba.

The 2016 Olympic champion has targeted a spot at the Paris Olympics but faces a real battle to get there, such is the competition in the American female ranks.

She gave herself a real shot at it with multiple World Cup wins in 2023 which took her into the top 30 of the world rankings, though she struggled at WTCS level and still has five Americans ahead of her in the Olympic standings.

In the mix from the start

But she did all she could in Cuba where she was clear favourite, with the next highest-ranked athlete in the field at #50.

Slovakia’s Ivana Kuriackova led out the swim but there was a large pack just behind her – and that included Jorgensen.

It stayed together on the bike, putting Jorgensen – with her fabled run speed – in pole position heading out of T2.

And it went very much to form, with a 34:08 10km split the fastest of the day and enough to see her win by nine seconds from Roksana Slupek of Poland.

Afterwards Jorgensen said on Instagram: “What an amazing experience. The race was just what I needed: a perfect rust buster to remind me that triathlon is hard, never easy, and always presenting challenges to overcome. My favorite part of the trip was getting to know the Cuban people. I felt so welcomed.”

Gwen Jorgensen World Triathlon Cup Tongyeong 2023 run
[Photo credit: World Triathlon]
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What’s next for Jorgensen?

It was an encouraging start but a much more informative marker should come at the opening WTCS event of the year in Abu Dhabi on Friday 8 March, though that will be over the sprint distance.

She is one of five American women on the start list there, with the others being Taylor Knibb, Taylor Spivey, Summer Rappaport and Kirsten Kasper.

In the men’s race in Cuba, Ireland’s James Edgar extended his winning run to three after Asia Triathlon Cup victories late last year in Hong Kong and Xiamen.

Edgar also produced the fastest run split of the day to claim the victory, overhauling American Darr Smith to win by six seconds.

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Americas Triathlon Cup La Habana results

Sunday February 25 2024 – 1500m / 40km / 10km

Elite Women

  • 1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA) – 1:59:42
  • 2. Roksana Slupek (POL) – 1:59:53
  • 3. Ana Maria Valentina Torres Gomez (MEX) – 2:00:14

Elite Men

  • 1. James Edgar (IRL) – 1:44:39
  • 2. Darr Smith (USA) – 1:44:45
  • 3. Michal Oliwa (MEX) – 1:44:52
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

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