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Taormina Wins Triathlon Trials

May 27, 2000

IRVING, Texas (AP) _ Sheila Taormina, an Olympic gold medalist in swimming four years ago, won the women’s Olympic triathlon trials Saturday in Irving, Texas, to earn a spot on the first U.S. Olympic triathlon team.

Taormina, who won her medal in the 800-meter freestyle relay, is seeking to become the second woman to win an Olympic gold medal in different events in separate Olympics. The other was Anfisa Rezisova, who won a gold medal in Nordic skiing in 1988 for the Soviet Union and in biathlon in 1992 for the Unified Team.

The 31-year-old resident of Livonia, Michigan, finished in 2 hours, 5 minutes and 27 seconds. She was a minute and a half ahead of Joanna Zieger of Baltimore who also made the team.

This is the first time triathlon will be a medal sport at the Olympics.

The third member will be Jennifer Gutierrez of San Antonio, who secured the first spot on the U.S. team by being the top U.S. finisher at the Sydney World Cup Triathlon, the same course to be used in the 2000 Olympic Games. She finished fifth on Saturday, with a time of 2:08:19.

Siri Lindley of Boulder, Colo., took third place in 2:07:35 and will be the alternate, finishing at 2:07:35.

One of the favorites, Barb Lindquist was in second place early in the 10-kilometer run portion of the triathlon before she fell, requiring medical attention. Lindquist, ranked fifth in the world, did not finish the race.

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