World Triathlon Series: Mario Mola and Flora Duffy retain titles

Mario Mola
Mola had to finish fifth or higher in Rotterdam to secure the title

Mario Mola and Flora Duffy retained their World Triathlon Series titles at the season finale in Rotterdam.

Mola, 27, finished the race in third place to become only the second man - after fellow Spaniard Javier Gomez - to successfully defend the title.

Britain's Jonny Brownlee was fifth on the day and sixth overall.

Bermuda's Duffy, 29, won her sixth race of the season to secure her second world title in style, with Britain's Jess Learmonth third on the day.

In wet and cold conditions in Rotterdam, Mola finished behind French winner Vincent Luis and Norwegian runner-up Kristian Blummenfelt in a sprint finish.

Two-time Olympic medallist Brownlee won only one World Series race this season - the penultimate event in Stockholm.

And the 2012 champion's turbulent season ended with a race in which he had to swim without his goggles.

"I had to take them off because I couldn't see where I was going," he said.

"It was just one of those bad luck days. I didn't have the legs and I felt terrible.

"At some points on the bike I was getting dropped and thinking, 'what's wrong with me?' It was just one of those days."

Brownlee missed the first two races of the season through injury and crashed on his return in Japan, finishing 42nd. He then pulled out of the Hamburg leg because of illness.

Despite finishing second behind brother Alistair in Leeds, and fourth-place finishes in Edmonton and Montreal, he was unable to make the podium.

Alistair, the double Olympic champion, was forced to cut short his season in August to have hip surgery.

Briton Tom Bishop, who was second in the opening race in Abu Dhabi, finished seventh in the final standings.

Dominant Duffy

Flora Duffy
Duffy beat Olympic champion and defending world champion Gwen Jorgensen to win the 2016 title

Having won her first world title in 2016, Duffy dominated 2017 to make it back-to-back successes.

Learmonth, who secured her first podium finish in Stockholm, led after the swim and was joined by Duffy and USA's Katie Zaferes in a breakaway group on the bike before Duffy raced clear on the 10km run.

Learmonth held on to take third place despite a calf injury on the final lap, while fellow Briton Jodie Stimpson came home in eighth.

"I'm delighted. It couldn't have gone better being in the break," said Learmonth.

"I've got to give a mention to Jodie too because we used team tactics and it all worked out pretty well."

Meanwhile, in the Under-23 World Championships, Sophie Coldwell won bronze for Great Britain.

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