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Olympians racing at triathlon worlds

AAP logoAAP 15/09/2016 Roger Vaughan

Emerging Australian triathlete Jake Birtwhistle can secure a top-five overall finish with a strong result in the world series final.

Last year's world under-23 champion is fifth in the world rankings, heading into the final round at Cozumel in Mexico early on Monday morning (AEST).

In July, only a few weeks before the Rio Olympics, Birtwhistle beat all three members of the Australian men's Rio team when he finished runner-up at the Hamburg round.

Cozumel will feature four of the six Rio Olympians - Aaron Royle, Ryan Bailie, Emma Moffatt and Ashleigh Gentle.

Ryan Fisher is ill and Erin Densham is coaching at Arizona State University.

The men's and women's elite races will feature strong fields, highlighted by Rio gold medallists Alistair Brownlee of Great Britain and American Gwen Jorgensen.

Brownlee's younger brother Jonny, who won silver in Rio, is close behind men's series leader Mario Mola from Spain.

Similarly, women's leader Flora Duffy (Bermuda) has a narrow lead over Jorgensen, the two-time defending series champion ahead of their race on Sunday (AEST).

Royle was ninth and Bailie finished 10th in Rio, while Moffatt was the top Australian woman with sixth.

It was the first time Australia had failed to win an Olympic medal in the sport.

The five-day triathlon festival at Cozumel also features the under-23, junior and age group world championships.

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