Triathlon: Wonder women qualify for London She had good reason to celebrate. After missing most of last season with a lower back injury, Groff qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team with a seventh-place finish at the International Triathlon.
Photo Courtesy: triathlon.competitor.com/Bethany Leach Mavis - ITU athlete Sarah Groff
Sarah Groff went out to dinner earlier this month dressed as Wonder Woman.
She had good reason to celebrate. After missing most of last season with a lower back injury, Groff qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team with a seventh-place finish at the International Triathlon Union World Championship Series earlier this month in London.
Unfortunately for Groff, the costumed dinner had nothing to do with celebrating her feat.
“I actually lost a completely unrelated bet a couple months ago and was forced to go out to dinner in a Wonder Woman costume,” she said. “I honor my bets, and there are some good photographs to prove it.”
There was still plenty of reason to celebrate for Groff and fellow American Gwen Jorgensen. Not only did the triathletes qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team from that race, but they also happened to qualify on the course that will be used at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
And Jorgensen, who competed in her first triathlon less than two years ago, posted the best finish by an American woman in the history of the ITU Triathlon Series by finishing in second place.
They certainly are wonder women.
“I’m definitely excited to have gotten one of the first Olympic spots in any sports and to have a year to prepare for the Olympic Games,” Groff, 29, said. “It was really great to do it on the course we will be on in London so I know exactly what the demands are and will be able to prepare perfectly for that course.”
Jorgensen also is excited about competing in London next summer.
“The Olympics bring the entire world together, and it is an incredible honor to be a part of something unforgettable,” Jorgensen said.
Jorgensen and Groff have continued their strong performances in the weeks that followed.
A week after Jorgensen clocked a time of 2 hours, 41 seconds on the Olympic-distance course in London — just seven seconds behind winner Helen Jenkins of Great Britain — the former University of Wisconsin All-American in track and cross country collected her first victory on the international World Cup circuit.
Jorgensen, 25, trailed by 70 seconds after the bike portion of her thrilling come-from-behind victory in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary. Jorgensen’s win marks the third ITU World Cup victory for an American this season.
Then, this past weekend, Jorgensen finished sixth and Groff finished seventh at the ITU Elite Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“It's amazing and wild to think how God has got me to where I am today with the help of coaches, sponsors, family and friends,” Jorgensen, who is No. 8 in the WCS rankings, said via email before the race. “I am grateful for the support and help I receive throughout this journey.
“There are extremely talented Americans that I am competing against; on any given day, the outcome could be completely different, which is exciting for the USA because we have