Anahi Alvarez Corral earns first World Cup gold at home in Mexico after a dazzling run display and career-best performance, in the Elite women’s race in Huatulco. Olympic and world champion Gwen Jorgensen (USA) glides to silver and Mexico’s Mercedes Romero Orozco clutches bronze, in a sprint to the line in the 2023 World Triathlon Cup Huatulco.
Elite women’s race report
The race conditions were incredibly hot and challenging for the Elite Women’s World Triathlon Cup race in Huatulco, Mexico. Today’s race was a sprint-distance format which included a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.
Race favourite Rosa Maria Tapia Vidal led the women out of the water and into transition, with China’s Yifan Yang and Brasil’s Djenyfer Arnold.
Behind them were USA’s Olympic silver medallist Katie Zaferes and Olympic Triathlon Champion Gwen Jorgensen.
The swim was quick and the women needed to work together to conserve energy on the bike, knowing that a steamy and hot 5000m run was ahead.
At the midpoint of the bike course, the lead group had established themselves and were working together tactically. Canada’s Dominika Jamnicky and Australia’s Charlotte Derbyshire took turns out front.
The chase group featured a major contender, USA’s Gina Sereno, who had lost time on the leaders in the early part of the race.
Slovakia’s Ivana Kuriackova was now two minutes down on the leaders.
The race had been left wide open with a massive group lead group of 40 women who were working together including Zaferes, Jorgensen, Australia’s Charlotte McShane, Hanne Devet, Erica Hawley, Maria Carolina Velasquez Soto, Tapia Vidal and Arnold.
The group entered transition to commence the final stage of the day and it was Mexico’s Alvarez Corral, who had been with the leaders all day, who established an immediate advantage on the field. Alvarez Corral comes from a track and field background and is known for her run pedigree. The young Mexican made the 5km run look effortless and it was obvious the battle remained for silver and bronze medals.
Alvarez was in total control of the race and was able to enjoy the finish line glory and take the tape in Huatulco, embracing her first World Cup victory
“It was a special race for me, to be able to do it at home with all the spectators. This was an important event for me, last year I didn’t do so well, so I wanted to make up for it so I’m thrilled with the result. Thanks to my coach and everyone who supports me,” said Alvarez.
Jorgensen stormed through the field to take over in second and stride down the blue carpet to earn a comeback silver.
“I was just trying to hold on to everything I could, I have had a really rough week actually, I have been sick, all I have eaten for the past five days is rice and I graduated to bananas yesterday. I was just really proud that I was able to come out here and finish.
“I know I am fit and Cagliari was a race that I just mentally really choked. To come out and perform at a level I know I am, is something I am really happy with.
“The bike was all about maintaining position. I had a horrible T2, I actually dropped my glasses so I went back to grab them, I didn’t want a penalty. I have had a history of performing badly in the heat so I was probably a little conservative on the first lap. I am just happy to come away with a podium, one step short of what I wanted it to be, but I have it my all today.
“I am not sure what’s next, I don’t have many points at the moment so it’s just about taking what races I can get into and competing at my best. Next is the relay tomorrow and I am really excited about that,” said Jorgensen.
The sprint for bronze came down to the wire with Mexico’s Mercedes Romero Orozco claiming bronze, another first World Cup medal at this level of racing.
“It was hard race, but I was able to get it done. I’m very happy with this success it speaks a lot to the work I have been putting in for a long time,” said Romero.
McShane crossed the line in fourth place and Jamnicky in fifth.