Mario Mola gained a third successive victory in Yokohama ©ITU

Mario Mola and Flora Duffy each lived-up to their respective favourites tags by recording wins at the World Triathlon Series in Yokohama today.

Mola produced a dominant performance in the men's race to claim his third successive victory in the Japanese city.

The Spaniard produced one of the best swims of his career to remain close to the lead.

He then stayed at the front in the bike section before bursting clear in the decisive run to win by 41 seconds in a time of 1 hour 44min 59sec.

“That was probably one of the best swims I have ever had, I am so happy with that," Mola said afterwards.

"It really makes the race completely different.

“It was one of those things that you only do once you are in the race and you see people around you. 

"I was feeling good, I was feeling strong, so I decided to push from the beginning and see what happens.”

Mola is also now top of the International Triathlon Union's World Triathlon Series standings after his first victory of the season.

Australia's Jacob Birtwhistle eventually finished in second place, in 1:45:40, while Mola's fellow countryman Fernando Alarza took bronze, another 11 seconds back. 

Flora Duffy continued her dominant form in the women's race ©ITU
Flora Duffy continued her dominant form in the women's race ©ITU

Flora Duffy continued her superb form in the corresponding women's race to repeat her victories at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and at her home World Triathlon Series leg in Bermuda.

“Coming after such a high in April from the Commonwealth Games and Bermuda it was definitely a stretch to get here," she said.

"I am very happy with my race, I often don’t get enough credit for my running, I came off the bike with a group of really strong runners."

She also broke clear in the run to triumph in a time of 1:53:26.

United States' Katie Zeferes finished 33 seconds behind Duffy in second place.

Great Britain's Non Stanford took bronze another 43 seconds behind. 

The Yokohama race marked the opening of a two-year Olympic qualification period before the world's best triathletes return to Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.