Gwen Jorgensen runner-up in London

LONDON -- Helen Jenkins of Britain won the London triathlon on Saturday, while Gwen Jorgensen of the United States finished second to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

Jenkins clinched her first World Championship Series event in 2 hours, 34 seconds on the Hyde Park course that will be used at next year's Summer Olympics. Jorgensen was 7 seconds back, and Anja Dittmer of Germany was third.

Jorgensen's silver medal secured a place on the U.S. Olympic team just 18 months after she competed in her first triathlon. American Sarah Groff also qualified with a seventh-place finish.

"The USA athletes and coaches have been helping me and teaching me the ropes," said Jorgensen, a former swimmer and runner at the University of Wisconsin. "Sarah Groff and I can now spend the next year training, planning and getting it right so we can peak at the Olympics."

Jenkins, the 2008 world champion, needed only a top-three finish to clinch a place on Britain's Olympic team.

The course featured a swim in the Serpentine and seven laps on a bike route that passed Buckingham Palace. Jenkins took the lead during the 10-kilometer run.