Lisa Norden, a home country heroine after her recent Olympic silver medal, won the first ITU short distance triathlon in Sweden in 15 years with a dominating performance at the Stockholm World Triathlon Series sprint distance race.
Norden came out of the swim 4th in the lead pack, led a 12-women breakaway bike pack and arrived in T2 in the lead, then separated herself from the rest with a tied-for-race-best 16:03 run that brought her to the finish in 1:00:36 with a 9-seconds margin of victory over surprise runner-up Maaike Caelers of the Netherlands.
After the race, Norden said she was thrilled with her Olympic silver and Stockholm gold in today's race in front of an adoring Swedish crowd cheering her on. "If you have kind of a dream scenario how could my life possibly turn out as it's best, this would have been it and I'm in it, which is incredible," Norden told ITU media. "Going out on the second lap knowing I had a gap, I knew all I had to do was keep running and I felt I had the strength, I had the legs and I had the crowd for it. So, incredible."
Barbara Riveros-Diaz of Chile took third, 10 seconds back of Caelers.
Caelers, who won her first ITU World Cup this year at Tiszaujvaros but finished a disappointing 41st at the London Olympic women’s triathlon, came back from 43rd place after the swim, advanced from 36th to 14th after the bike, and charged past 12 rivals with a tied-for-women’s-race-best 16:03 on the shorter than advertised 5k run course to finish second.
Riveros-Diaz came back strong after a disappointing Olympics where she fell back on the swim and could never advance to the front pack. On this day, the 5-foot tall Chilean superstar swam a 14th-best 10:19 in range of the front pack, cycled to 2nd place at the end of the 20 kilometer bike course, then charged out on a breakaway run dueling with Norden.
Midway through the first of two 2.5 kilometer run laps, Norden dropped Riveros-Diaz, who ran alone in 2nd place until Caelers arrived midway through Lap 2. At that point, Caelers stormed past on her way to a tied-for-race-best 16:03 split. Riveros-Diaz then hung on for 3rd place with a 16:22 run that held off Germany’s hard-charging 4th place finisher Anne Haug by 4 seconds.
Erin Densham of Australia, coming off her Olympic bronze medal performance, was 5 seconds back of Haug for 5th place.
Stockholm World Triathlon Series
August 25, 2012
S 750m / B 20k / R 5 k
1. Lisa Norden (SWE) 1:00:36
2. Maaike Caelers (NED) 1:00:45
3. Barbara Riveros-Diaz (CHI) 1:00:55
4. Anne Haug (GER) 1:00:59
5. Erin Densham (AUS) 1:01:08
6. Non Stanford (GBR) 1:01:14
7. Ainhoa Murua (ESP) 1:01:17
8. Yuko Takahashi (JPN) 1:01:20
9. Alice Betto (ITA) 1:01:28
10. Rebecca Robisch (GER) 1:01:33