Katie Zaferes became ITU World Champion in the Olympic Capital Lausanne, Switzerland, while Female Athlete of the year Flora Duffy finished 5th in the Grand Final.
It all boiled down to another incredible battle with British duo Jessica Learmonth and Georgia Taylor Brown, but it was Zaferes delivering yet another big finish, pulling away from Learmonth down the final 200 meters to drink in the magic of the moment that a hard season had built up to.
It was Learmonth who was once again in command in the water, pulling away from the very first strokes to spearhead an initial lead group of seven that included the ever-excellent Vittoria Lopes, Taylor Spivey, Summer Rappaport and Sophie Coldwell.
Zaferes was 10 seconds back at the halfway re-entry, Flora Duffy 18 and Nicola Spirig 30 seconds, and the gap to the front had almost doubled by the time the American was back out of the water and heading into transition for the first time, but in good company to work with to close in.
Duffy was up with Zaferes, Learmonth, Coldwell, Spivey and Lopes in no time, and the six worked themselves into a rhythm led by the Bermudian double-World Champion.
Duffy had other ideas, though, and her power saw Taylor Spivey and Sophie Coldwell dropped, leaving five flying out front.
Again she took up the attack at the top of the hill on lap six and threatened to pull away. Though the door was shut again on Duffy’s latest hopes of success, the effort did mean that Spirig’s group was left trailing yet further behind, the deficit now in excess of a minute and looking increasingly unreachable.
Duff was clocked across the line ion a time of 2:04:26, Duffy clocked 19.15 opn the Swim, 1:06.35 on the Bike and then 37.29 on the Run Course.