By Nick Butler at Hyde Park in London

Javier Gomez celebrates after securing his third triathlon world title in LondonSeptember 15 - Spain's Javier Gomez outthought and outfought Great Britain's Jonathon Brownlee to secure his third world title here at the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Grand Final in what, despite the home disappointment, has been widely lauded as one of the most thrilling races in the event's history.

With the Olympic gold medal winning elder Brownlee brother Alistair becoming detached early on in the run due to injury, defending champion Jonathonand Gomez broke clear and embarked on a valiant battle.

All of the attention in the week leading up to the race was on the two Brownlee brothers and, with a home crowd oozing confidence after Non Stanford's victory yesterday, more of the same appeared inevitable.

But in the final strides it was Gomez who was strongest as he edged clear to win his sixth successive world championship medal and his third gold after earlier victories in 2008 and 2010.

Javier Gomez defies the pain to sprint away from Jonny Brownlee and win his third triathlon world titleJavier Gomez wins the battle of the pain-faces and the runners as he sprints away from Jonny Brownlee and wins his third triathlon world title

"I came and did my job, I had a very tough race from the beginning and Jonathan [Brownlee] was very hard to beat, but I had this extra little gear in the last 100 metres and sometimes you need to be a bit lucky," Gomez said.

"I've lost many sprints and this time I won - I'm so happy.

"I've been racing both Brownlees for the last few years, so I can say they are the best athletes I've ever seen, and I know how hard it is to beat them and it's even harder to beat them on home soil.

"I knew I was very fit and the last couple of races have been the best ones of my whole career.

"I have to say thanks to the crowd because they appreciate the effort of all the athletes, not only the British, and that's very good."

If the crowd yesterday was impressive then today's - in marginally brighter but still damp conditions - were nothing short of monumental as noise levels more associated with a football crowd were emitted.

Any sighting of the Brownlees, who have together shared three of the last four world titles, was greeted by a huge roar by crowds who had filled every bit of space throughout the course.

The rain was failing to dampen the crowds excitement as Brownlee and Gomes endured a pulsating running battle for the world titleThe rain was failing to dampen the crowds excitement as Brownlee and Gomez endured a pulsating running battle for the world title

When the brothers surged to the front in the opening strokes of the swim this excitement appeared completely justified.

Already a rapid pace was being set as those ranked between fourth and ninth in the overall standings, including Spain's eventual third place finisher Mario Mola, were unceremoniously cast adrift behind Slovakian leader Richard Varga.

By the beginning of the bike a lead pack of 13 had formed with a lead of 30 seconds and, with their usually humble Yorkshire personalities replaced by a racing one of aggressive ferocity, it was the two Brownlees who were urging the group to work together to keep the lead intact.

As the chasing pack proved unable to make serious inroads Alistair launched a solo attack on the final lap.

So unlikely were his chances of staying clear it begged the question either if he was so confident that he felt he could win whatever he did or whether his running was hampered by injury to the extent that he had to break clear before then.

Unfortunately, it was the latter which became obvious as he exited the transition without his usual vigour and was immediately dropped by Gomez and his younger brother.

What followed was a boxing bout of Ali-Foreman credentials as each heavyweight launched bid after bid to break the other only for them to be still locked together as they entered the final round of the last 100 metes.

Great Britains Jonny Brownlee collapses in exhaustion and dispondency after being outsprinted by Spains Javier Gomez in Hyde ParkGreat Britain's Jonny Brownlee collapses in exhaustion and disappointment after being ousted as world champion by Spain's Javier Gomez in Hyde Park

Last year in Auckland, Jonny's second place secured the world title anyway yet was beaten in a similar sprint in the Grand Final by Gomez after, in his words, he sprinted too early.

This time the race was winner takes all yet it panned out identically as Brownlee attacked and, with the crowd roars growing louder and louder, opened up a sliver of daylight as the finishing funnel neared.

Gomez however came storming back and with pain etched on both of their faces he crossed the line first as the crowd noise fell from elation to disbelief.

Behind them his fellow Spaniard Mola was surging through the field to eventually claim bronze in both this race and the world championship series.

As for Alistair Brownlee, despite resurging to fifth place at one point he limped home in 52nd place almost seven minutes behind but should be commended in showing a champion's quality in never giving up.

Alistair afterwards admitted that such was his discomfort he probably should have pulled out, but had never dropped of a race in his life so was not going to start now.

He continued to playfully lambast his brother for his tactical nous although this frustration was shared by Jonny who said that "second in the world is not too bad, but I wanted to win really."

Javier Gomez flanked by Jonny Brownlee and Mario Mola on the world championship podium in LondonJavier Gomez flanked by Jonny Brownlee and Mario Mola on the world championship podium in London

Both the Brownlees and the Spaniards will be back next year refreshed and ready to battle again and we can only be thankful to have these great champions all at the pinnacle of their careers at the same time.

Indeed with drama of this and all the other races this week the whole sport of triathlon is set only to provide more and more excitement into 2014 and beyond.

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Related stories
September 2013: Home star Stanford lights up London with a thrilling world title earning Grand Final victory
August 2013: Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee on top of WTS standings going into London Grand Final
July 2013:Younger Brownlee takes victory from brother at World Triathlon Tour Hamburg
July 2013: Brownlee and Stimpson complete British double at Triathlon World Series event in Kitzbühel
May 2013: Younger Brownlee takes gold in triumphant comeback at Yokohama