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Fri 3rd Dec 2021
© Janos M Schmidt/ITU Media/
2015 ITU post-Chicago roundup: Elite Women
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Thursday 24th September 2015

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Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report #9
ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago (MEN)

Welcome to the final Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report of 2015. We do hope you have enjoyed these in-depth reviews as the season has progressed. With the conclusion of the 2015 season at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, we're going to split the report into two.

Below, we present the roundup on the Women's event and 2015 season, with the Men's review available separately HERE.

What a fantastic year it has been, culminating in Chicago with sensational racing, a whole host of records being broken and two truly exceptional ITU World Champions.



Columbia Threadneedle Rankings

Women's Review

Any thoughts of unlucky 13 for Gwen Jorgensen were eliminated in Chicago. The moment she powered away from Non Stanford and Vicky Holland with just over 2km of the run remaining, another victory for Jorgensen never looked in doubt. That was her 12th consecutive World Triathlon Series win and, including the Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro, her 13th consecutive ITU victory. What a way to retain your World Championship title.

©Delly Carr / ITU Media /

There are so many statistics for Gwen we could mention, but here are just a few highlights which help put her exceptional performances into context:

  • Unbeaten in seven WTS starts in 2015.
  • Recorded the fastest run split in all seven of those races.
  • The first woman to win the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final twice since its introduction in 2009.
  • The first U.S. athlete, male or female, to defend the ITU World Triathlon Championship title.
  • Joins Karen Smyers, (1990 and 1995), as the only U.S. athlete to be crowned ITU World Triathlon Champion on two occasions.
  • The most career World Triathlon Series wins (15).
  • The most career World Triathlon Series podium finishes (18), achieved from 31 starts.
  • Only the fourth woman (joining Michellie Jones, Emma Snowsill and Emma Moffatt), to win back-to-back ITU World Championship titles.

With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games less than one year away, Gwen Jorgensen will surely start next year as the clear favourite to add Olympic Gold to her two World Championship titles.

Joining Gwen in Rio next summer, courtesy of second and third place respectively in Chicago, are British athletes Non Stanford and Vicky Holland. They both achieved the exceptionally tough British Olympic selection criteria of top-three finishes in both the Rio Test event and the Chicago Grand Final. The podium positions in both of those events were filled by the same three athletes in the same order – will that prove an omen for the Olympic Games itself next August?

©Janos M. Schmitt / ITU Media /

Holland (fourth) and Stanford (eighth) both made the top ten in the final 2015 Columbia Threadneedle Rankings courtesy of their Chicago points, despite only having five scoring races from the season. They are the only two athletes, male or female, to have achieved that. For Holland in particular (with two wins, one second, one third and a fifth place), even a moderate finish in another event would surely have seen her take second place overall. That said, having started the year with injury and finished it with Olympic selection confirmed, she'll be very content with her year.

Non Stanford is also the highest ‘new entry' to the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings in 2015 versus last season. The ITU World Champion in 2013, Non missed the entire 2014 season with injury. A year which has included podium finishes in Hamburg and Chicago represents a fine return to health, fitness and form.

©Janos M. Schmitt / ITU Media /

One athlete, who didn't manage to finish on the high note she wanted in Chicago, but can be very happy with her year as a whole, is Katie Zaferes. With five second place finishes and six podiums in total during the World Triathlon Series this year, Zaferes has made a huge breakthrough in 2015. Never outside of the top two positions in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings all season, prior to the Grand Final, an uncharacteristic 24th place in the Chicago saw her slip to fifth place overall for the season.

While Zaferes struggled, Andrea Hewitt was making the most of her opportunities. Prior to the race Hewitt was ranked fourth, and likely felt that third place overall in the rankings may be the limit of her chances given the gap in points to Katie Zaferes. Even then, she knew she needed a strong finish herself and to beat Sarah True by three places to have a chance. After finishing fourth in the Grand Final, when True crossed the line in seventh, 35 seconds later, it meant that Andrea had leapfrogged her by just seven points into third. With Zaferes well off the pace too, that meant Hewitt actually climbed two places to take the 2015 ITU World Championship Silver medal. The Kiwi is a big time performer, as that was her fifth World Championship medal in the past seven seasons.

©Janos M. Schmitt / ITU Media /

While Sarah True may have been disappointed to lose the Silver medal by such a small margin, like Zaferes she can look back on 2015 with pride. She won in Stockholm for the second consecutive year, and also finished on the podium in both Gold Coast and London. She is now building her own World Championship medal collection having previously earned Bronze in 2011 and Silver in 2014. Like Andrea Hewitt, she now needs Gold to complete the set!

Some other notables from 2015:

  • Vendula Frintova was the only athlete to start all ten World Triathlon Series races in 2015.
  • Five athletes earned their first career World Triathlon Series podium finishes during 2015: Ashleigh Gentle, Flora Duffy, Gillian Backhouse, Katie Zaferes and Vicky Holland.
  • In 2015, only three different athletes won a World Triathlon Series event from the ten events held (Gwen Jorgensen, Sarah True and Vicky Holland).
  • The biggest mover in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings in 2015 versus last season is Switzerland's Jolanda Annen. 128th in 2014, she improved by 93 places to end the year ranked 35th (1203 points).

©Janos M. Schmitt / ITU Media /

Columbia Threadneedle Rankings 2015
Following ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago

1st – Gwen Jorgensen (USA) 5200
2nd – Andrea Hewitt (NZL) 4081
3rd – Sarah True (USA) 4074
4th – Vicky Holland (GBR) 3953
5th – Katie Zaferes (USA) 3900
6th – Rachel Klamer (NED) 3099
7th – Flora Duffy (BER) 3094
8th – Non Stanford (GBR) 2890
9th – Aileen Reid (IRL) 2721
10th – Emma Moffatt (AUS) 2720

The full Columbia Threadneedle Rankings can be accessed at:

This report is brought to you by Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Global Financial Services partner of the ITU World Triathlon Series.

Join the conversation on twitter with @CTinvest_tri or by using #CT_Rankings.

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