Katie Zaferes of Hampstead has run, swum and biked. Now she gets to wait. Zaferes finished sixth overall among women and second among American women in the ITU World Triathlon Yokohama in Japan late Friday.
Gwen Jorgensen, who won the race (a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike ride and 10-kilometer run) by more than a minute in 1 hour, 56 minutes, 2 seconds and Sarah True have clinched U.S. Olympic berths. Jorgensen, True and Zaferes are the only active U.S. women to make a World Triathlon Series podium, all having done so at least five times in the past two years.
Zaferes, who finished in 1:57:35, is positioned by points to be the third Olympian unless USA Triathlon exercises its option to select a different athlete; a decision is expected in the next few weeks.
“Thank you all soooo much for the amazing congratulatory messages and support,” the former Katie Hursey, a North Carroll alumna, wrote on Twitter. “I still have to wait a bit for my Olympic fate to be decided.”
Interviewed after the race by USA Triathlon, Zaferes said of her finish and Olympic bid: “It means so much to me. Last year, I had such a great season. This season, I started off with a [did not finish] in Abu Dhabi, not exactly how you want to start your season. I just tried to keep it in my mind that I know that everybody can do it, everybody has doubts sometimes but my overall feeling was ‘Katie, you can do this. You can be an Olympian.’ That’s what was going through my mind on the run. ... I tried to sprint a little early to get fourth, which may not have been the best idea, but I know I gave it everything.”
The third U.S. women’s Olympic slot is expected to be finalized after an evaluation of the domestique or "team player" scenario, which is written into the selection criteria as a possible option prior to the Objective Rankings System being confirmed.