Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Hyde Park, London
Date Started: August 4, 2012
Date Finished: August 4, 2012
This may be the greatest single race in triathlon history, challenged perhaps only by the 1989 Ironman race between Dave Scott and Mark Allen. Britain put their hopes on Helen Jenkins, the 2008 and 2011 World Champion, but she struggled with an injury coming into the Games, which hampered her training. Switzerland's Nicola Spirig had already won two of the stages of the ITU World Series and was favored with Jenkins hurt, although Australia's Emma Moffatt was expected to challenge for gold.
The run was four laps of a 2½ km course, and as the leaders entered the final lap, there was a lead pack of five athletes – Spirig, Jenkins, Lisa Nordén (SWE), Erin Densham (AUS), and Sarah Groff (USA), as Moffatt had crashed on the bike ride and would not finish. Jenkins was dropped first by the leaders as she could not keep pace. Groff held on until about 700 metres from the finish but then was dropped, leaving Spirig, Nordén and Densham to contest the medals. Spirig and Nordén ran shoulder-to-shoulder and gradually dropped Densham within the last 200 metres. The two leaders could not be separated and neither was ever able to get an entire body width in front, as the lead changed hands several times. At the end they were in an all-out sprint, still with nothing to separate them.
As they hit the line, seemingly together, it was unclear who had won. Finally, the finish photo determined that Spirig had won the gold medal, although they were given the same time and the margin was later revealed to be only 0.009 seconds, a ridiculous margin to determine a champion in a 2-hour race.
|4||Sarah Groff||30||United States||USA||2-00:00|
|5||Helen Tucker-Jenkins||28||Great Britain||GBR||2-00:19|
|6||Andrea Hewitt||30||New Zealand||NZL||2-00:36|
|10||Kate McIlroy||30||New Zealand||NZL||2-01:28|
|15||Vendula Frintová||28||Czech Republic||CZE||2-02:08|
|17||Laura Bennett||37||United States||USA||2-02:17|
|19||Gillian Sanders||30||South Africa||RSA||2-02:28|
|20||Radka Vodičková||27||Czech Republic||CZE||2-02:34|
|22||Katie Roberts||29||South Africa||RSA||2-02:46|
|26||Vicky Holland||26||Great Britain||GBR||2-02:55|
|33||Lucy Hall||20||Great Britain||GBR||2-04:38|
|35||Nicky Samuels||29||New Zealand||NZL||2-04:48|
|38||Gwen Jorgensen||26||United States||USA||2-06:34|
|42||Fabienne St Louis||24||Mauritius||MRI||2-07:37|