German rising star Laura Lindemann claimed a third successive World Championships title with victory in the under-23 women's event at the International Triathlon Union's (ITU) World Triathlon Grand Final event in Cozumel today.
Lindemann, 28th in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last month, had finished first in the junior race for the last two years.
She impressed on her step-up to the tougher level, however, crossing the line first, despite fierce opposition.
On a sunny morning on the Mexican resort island, the German trailed a six-person leading group on the opening swim as Britons Sophie Coldwell and Georgie Taylor-Brown pushed the pace.
Coldwell, together with The Netherland’s Maya Kingma and Russia’s Anastasia Gorbunova, cruised out of the first transition to take a lead of a minute by the second bike lap.
But Lindemann's chasing group were swiftly closing the gap, and a pack of 14 drew level with two bike laps still to go.
The German, along with Estonia's Kaidi Kivioja and France's Leonie Periault, then pushed the pace early-on in the run.
Kivioja received a 10 second penalty due to an illegal transition, which she opted to serve after lap two.
That left Liedermann and Periault clear and in a race between themselves.
It only ended in the final 500 metres as the Liedermann dropped her gallant rival to win by 15 seconds in 1 hour 59min 18sec.
France ensured they also took the bronze medal as Sandra Dodet finished third in 2:00.05.
There was a US double in the junior races.
Austin Hindman won the men’s event after fighting back to beat Canada’s Charles Paquet as Great Britain’s Ben Dijkstra took bronze.
A dominant bike-run powered Taylor Knibb to the corresponding women's title.
Lisa Tertsch produced a speedy run for second and in a sprint finish, Hye Rim Jeong won South Korea's first ever World Championship medal at any level with bronze.