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By USA Triathlon, 02/10/19, 10:30AM MST


Summer Rappaport, Tamara Gorman and Tony Smoragiewicz began 2019 in medal-winning fashion.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — U.S. elite triathletes Summer Rappaport, Tamara Gorman and Tony Smoragiewicz began their 2019 seasons in medal-winning fashion on Sunday with podium finishes in the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Cup season opener.

Racing on a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course, Rappaport (née Cook, Thornton, Colo.) claimed the silver medal in the women’s race in 57 minutes, 31 seconds, picking up where she left off at the end of the 2018 season where she won the World Cup finale in Miyazaki, Japan. Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.) finished in 57:44 to earn the bronze medal, earning her first podium finish in an ITU World Cup event since May 2018. Japan’s Ai Ueda grabbed the tape for the win in 57:23.

Rappaport and Gorman maintained a position near the front of the field from the start, exiting the swim in a lead group of six. Throughout the 20k bike, the lead group held off the chasers, including Ueda, with a gap of roughly 20 seconds. Once out on the two-lap run course, Ueda closed in on the Americans, running on Rappaport’s shoulder at the end of the first lap until the last 500 meters. Ueda’s speedy 16:56 5k split gave her gold, while Rappaport and Gorman posted the second- and third-quickest run splits of the day to land on the podium.

In the men’s race, Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.) claimed his first career ITU World Cup medal with the silver, finishing in 52:19 in a sprint to the finish. Great Britain’s Alex Yee took the top spot on the podium in 52:04, and Portugal’s Joao Silva earned bronze with a finishing time identical to Smoragiewicz, who just edged out Silva at the finish line.

While Yee has earned a reputation for his run speeds, it was Smoragiewicz who caught the field by surprise with his run prowess, working to make up distance lost in the front half of the race. Both Yee and Smoragiewicz found themselves trailing the lead group of 20-plus riders at the end of the bike leg, but over the course of the final 5k run, the two men fought back to find themselves in prime podium position. Smoragiewicz ran alongside Silva and South African Olympic bronze medalist Henri Schoeman before making one final surge for silver at the finish.

The ITU Triathlon World Cup circuit will continue on March 16 in Mooloolaba, Australia.

2019 Discover Triathlon World Cup Cape Town
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run

Elite Women – 
Complete Results
1. Ai Ueda (JPN), 57:23
2. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.), 57:31
3. Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.), 57:44

U.S. Finishers
2. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.), 57:31
3. Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.), 57:44
12. Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), 58:37

Elite Men – Complete Results
1. Alex Yee (GBR), 52:04
2. Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.), 52:19
3. Joao Silva (POR), 52:19

U.S. Finishers
2. Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.), 52:19
16. William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas), 53:01
33. Austin Hindman (Wildwood, Mo.), 53:56
46. Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), 55:14

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).