(Reuters) – Britain’s Vicky Holland won the World Triathlon Series women’s season title after finishing a close second to Australian Ashleigh Gentle in the final race at Gold Coast on Saturday.
Holland, who won individual bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, crossed the line in 1:52:02, two seconds behind Gentle in a thrilling finale.
American Katie Zaferes led the women’s overall standings going into the final race and looked favourite to claim the world title when she upped the pace on the road to leave Holland behind.
Holland stormed back into contention, passing Zaferes, and hammering onwards to pile pressure on race leader Gentle.
Cheered on by the home crowd, Gentle edged Holland in a sprint but both could celebrate at the finish.
“I can’t actually believe it,” Holland said. “I thought at one point in the run that it was done, there was quite a big gap there. I can’t believe I brought it back in.
“This season as a whole has been absolutely incredible — three wins, two seconds and a world title. It’s so much more than I thought I would get out of this year.”
Holland took the season title with 5,540 points, 48 clear of second-placed Zaferes.
Briton Georgia Taylor-Brown endured a tough race, finishing eighth, but that was enough to seal third spot overall in the Series.
The elite men’s race is scheduled for Sunday. Spain’s Mario Mola, chasing his third straight world title, leads the standings with 4,925 points, while Jake Birtwhistle of Australia is a distant second with 4,101.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)