By Gary Anderson

September 11 - Olympic champion Ennis-Hill launches the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Hyde ParkOlympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill has unveiled a giant floating sculpture called "Victor" in the Serpentine at London's Hyde Park to launch the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon Grand Final today. 

The British London 2012 gold medallist, who is an ambassador for event sponsor PruHealth, was present on the banks of the River Thames to launch the competition, which will see more than 8,500 triathletes swim past the four-metre high and eight-metre wide floating swimmer over the five days of action.

Organisers expect more than 300,000 spectators to attend the free event, which will take place over the London 2012 circuit in Hyde Park.

"This is one of the first major Olympic legacy events happening post London 2012, so I'm delighted to support the PruHealth World Triathlon Grand Final," said Ennis-Hill, who had to pull out of the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Moscow last month due to injury.

"It is fantastic to be here to reveal the giant sculpture in the Serpentine today - it will form a real focus for the event at the weekend and make everyone aware that we are again hosting a great international sporting event in the capital.

"Being here brings back amazing memories of London 2012 and that sight of thousands of people in Hyde Park watching the triathlon event.

"We are expecting around 300,000 people along the route this weekend which will not only spur on the athletes but will also show the power of sport to unite people.

"Hopefully some of them might be inspired afterwards to take up regular running, swimming or cycling or better still take up the challenge of a triathlon."

Jessica Ennis-Hill and Victor officially launch the World Triathlon Grand Final at the Serpentine in Hyde ParkJessica Ennis-Hill and Victor officially launch the World Triathlon Grand Final at the Serpentine in Hyde Park

Athletes from 83 nations are set to compete for junior, under-23, amateur, Paratriathlon and elite world titles.

The elite men's and women's competitions on Saturday and Sunday (September 14 and 15) are set to be a thrilling affair as the ITU World Triathlon Series comes to an end.

With 1,200 points available to the winner in London, and 1,110 and 1,027 going to the second and third place finishers, the race for both World Championships is wide open.

The home crowd in Hyde Park will be hoping to celebrate British victories in both events as Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, Non Stanford and Jodie Stimpson are all in contention to claim world champion status.

Despite an injury-hit season, Olympic gold and bronze medallists Alistair and Jonathan sit first and second in the world rankings coming into London and are separated by just 55 points, while the Spanish duo of Olympic silver medallist Javier Gómez and Mario Mola will also have designs on taking the world crown off current holder Jonathan.

Will the triathlon podium from London 2012 be repeated on Sunday and in which order?Will the triathlon podium from London 2012 be repeated on Sunday and in which order?

The London 2012 medallists have monopolised the ITU World Series this season with three wins apiece for the Brownlee brothers and an event opening win from Gomez in Auckland, and all three will have fond memories of the Hyde Park course from last year.

Meanwhile, there is an equally intriguing battle to become world champion in the elite women's competition.

Just 13 points separate American world rankings leader Gwen Jorgensen and Stanford in third place, with Anne Haug of Germany sandwiched in between.

Stimpson is also a strong medal contender as she lies in fourth position.

Jorgensen will arrive in London in confident mood after winning her third World Series event of the year last time out in Stockholm, but the other three triathletes have kept pace with the American thanks to consistent performances throughout the season.

Haug, who was World Championship runner-up to Sweden's Olympic silver medallist Lisa Nordén last year, has two World Series wins under her belt this season, while Stanford and Stimpson claimed victories in Madrid and Kitzbühel respectively.

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