Posts tagged "women’s triathlon"

I got more exercise than expected while watching the women’s triathlon

For a second while I was watching the Olympic women’s triathlon, I thought I was in a race myself.

As my group of BSU at the Games members stood around Serpentine Lake, surrounded by thousands of people watching the triathletes furiously swim in front of us, some fans around us began to turn around. They started pushing through the massive crowd of people until they reached a clearing, and then it was a full-on sprint to the other side of Hyde Park.

Jonathan Batuello, one of our group members, was among those hurrying away from the lake even though the swimming portion wasn’t over. I hurried after him, but he ran so fast from the crowd I lost track of him.

At that point, it didn’t take long to figure out what everyone was running toward.

As the triathletes pulled themselves out of the water and onto their bikes, fans were racing over to the cycling track to get the best possible view of the next portion of the race.

It was funny to see how the rows of people next to the street worked itself out. Those who ran fast enough and knew they had to leave the swimming portion early earned the ultimate prize of getting great photos. Those of us who didn’t had to deal with photos that had heads and cameras in the way of the shot.

Our group learned from the first run through the park and made it over to the running track after the cycling was halfway finished. No running was necessary this time, and after a half hour of waiting, we were able to get a decent view of the triathletes sprinting by us.

For the first Olympic sport I’ve ever seen in-person, the women’s triathlon is memorable just for getting me out of a seat. That’s not something I’m used to as a football and basketball fan.

Still, the next time I sit down to comfortably watch a sport with a hot dog in one hand and a drink in the other, I know I won’t take it for granted.

Andrew Mishler  |  Sports Reporter

@andrewmishler

Photo of the day: Women’s triathlon

Erin Densham, Nicola Spirig, Lisa Nordem and Helen Jenkins race to the finish of the women’s triathlon Saturday. Nicola Spirig (second from right) pulled ahead to win the gold.

Photo by Emily Theis.

U.S. triathlete Groff finishes with high yet “bittersweet” final placing in Olympic women’s triathlon

By Andrew Mishler  |  BSU at the Games

After enduring miles of swimming, biking and running, U.S. triathlete Sarah Groff pushed her body as far as it could.

It was enough to secure one of the highest finishes in Saturday’s Olympic women’s triathlon. But it also secured the most bittersweet finish of the race.

Groff came in fourth with a time of 2:00:00, finishing behind eventual bronze medalist Lisa Norden of Australia by 10 seconds in the final standings.

“My goal going into this race was just to be there with 1,000 meters to go. I was,” Groff said in a news release. “You know, I’ve got to be proud of that. Fourth is the ‘worst’ position to be in but, at the end of the day, I’m an Olympian. I get to showcase this awesome sport to millions of people. I’m really proud to be on this team. Obviously it would have been better to come home with a medal, but I’m proud of the process and proud of our team.”

Groff’s fourth-place finish tied for the second highest U.S. women’s mark in Olympic triathlon history. The highest place for U.S. competitors came in 2004 when Susan Williams took home the bronze medal.

The gold medal winner wasn’t decided as the tape broke, as both Switzerland’s Nicola Spiring and Sweden’s Lisa Norden finished with a time of 1:59:48.

Several agonizing minutes went by as the judges deliberated on whose torso broke the plane first. When the announcement came, Spiring was declared the gold medal winner.

Groff’s U.S. teammates finished with mixed results. Laura Bennett came in 17th with a time of 2:02:17, while Gwen Jorgensen finished 38th with a time of 2:06:34.

Jorgensen’s low finish was partly due to a flat tire on her bike during the third lap of the cycling.

“I had a flat, so I had to stop and change it,” Jorgensen said. “I wasn’t in the front pack, anyway. I got a little flustered. It never happened to me before. You’ve got to be prepared for everything.”

Bennett stayed with the front of the pack throughout most of the swimming and cycling portions, but couldn’t keep up with the leaders during the 10-kilometer run.

“The girls I was with, I’ve never really ridden with. It was definitely unexpected,” Bennett said. “I didn’t feel fantastic all day. You try and keep in touch with it all and figure out what you have, and that was all I had today.”

With the women’s competition over, the focus now switches to the men’s triathlon on Tuesday at 9 a.m. in Hyde Park. Hunter Kemper and Manuel Huerta will represent the U.S. in the race. Kemper has competed in every Olympic triathlon since the inaugural race in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Like so many inside Hyde Park on Saturday, Kemper not only played the role of a fan of his home country, but also of triathlon as a sport, taking to Twitter to express it after the race.

“WOW!!! That was the greatest finish I have ever seen!” Kemper tweeted. “UNBELIEVABLE!!! #triathlon has arrived on a world stage! BRILLIANT!”

Andrew Mishler is a senior telecommunications and journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Andrew and the BSU team at @andrewmishler@bsuatthegames andwww.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.