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Gwen Jorgensen shares thoughts after missing out on automatic Olympic selection at WTCS Yokohama

Gwen Jorgensen (USA) finished 15th at WTCS Yokohama, her highest finish on the circuit since 2016, but was the fourth American athlete across the line.

Staff Reporter
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American triathlon legend Gwen Jorgensen was unable to secure a fairytale return to the Olympic Games last weekend, as she finished 15th at WTCS Yokohama.

Needing to finish on the podium to lock in a spot for Paris, Jorgensen was let down by her swim, and had to put together the second fastest run split of the day to secure a best WTCS finish since 2016.

Despite not getting the result she wanted, other results mean there are still two spots up for grabs on Team USA, with discretionary selections set to be made next month after WTCS Cagliari.

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“I am disappointed in my swim”

Reflecting on her race on YouTube, Jorgensen said she wasn’t happy with her swim, especially considering the gains she has made since last season.

Gwen Jorgensen Hamburg qualifiers 2023
[Photo credit: World Triathlon]

“I am disappointed in my swim, I know I am a better swimmer than that. If I look at my swimming last year versus this year, however, I am a completely different person.

“This year I have seen huge improvements, but that did not show on race day. I remember feeling like I was dead last, which is when I called on my mental skills, and told myself that I would judge the race later.

“I kept trying to fight, trying to continue to move forward, but I had one of my worst swims based on where I am and I think I can do better, but the reality is that on race day I didn’t.” 

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Finding silver linings on the bike

Taking more positives from her display on the bike, the 38-year-old said that her focus on improving her technical ability paid dividends out on the course in Yokohama.

“I think that was one of my best races that I have rode, technically which is good as I have done a ton of work. 

Last year when I started this campaign, one of the things I wanted to work on was how I rode technically, as that was one of my weaknesses in 2015/15, and I think I actually saw a benefit of that in this race.

“That was something that I was very proud of and happy with, I was able to hold wheels and just ride well technically.”

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“Not where I want to be”

Not currently on the start list for Cagliari, Jorgensen will hope she rolls on to the start list, but regardless of what happens in Italy, she will know that another performance like Yokohama won’t be enough.

Gwen Jorgensen reflective World Triathlon Cup Vina del Mer 2023
[Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]

“I think if I was to get 15th at a WTCS last year I would have been thrilled. This time last year at a WTCS I got lapped out and so it’s a huge improvement, but not where I want to be.

“I am still having fun, I didn’t end the race wanting to quit, it was an interesting race because it had the outcome pressure of Top 3 being automatic selection for the US team, and that is clouding a lot of how I analyze the race.

“If I go back to what I analyze most races on, which are the processes, I actually did a lot of stuff well that I can be proud of, so I can say that I’m having fun!” 

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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