Sophie Cowell burst ldwell claimed a British win in the women's triathlon race ©ITU

Great Britain's Sophie Coldwell burst clear on the run to win the women's race at the International Triathlon Union in Tiszaújváros in Hungary today before the men's race was cancelled midway through due to a thunder and hailstorm.

The races took place in a sprint format in which athletes had to tackle a 750 metres swim followed by a flat 20 kilometres bike section and a concluding 5km run.

Coldwell had worked alongside Portugal's Melanie Santos in the semi-final yesterday and the two came to the fore once again midway through the run. 

Coldwell proved the strongest as she repeatedly attacked before opening up what proved to be a winning margin.

The Briton crossed in 59min 02sec to finish 16 seconds clear of her Portuguese rival.

United States' Chelsea Burns finished another 10 seconds back in third place.

She outsprinted Australia's fourth placed Emma Jeffcoat by three seconds.

Rain started on the Hungarian course virtually as the men entered the water.

A pack of 20 emerged early on the bike leg, with fastest semi-finallist Matthew Sharpe of Canada among the lead group.

But the rain got heavier and heavier and the thunder louder and louder and, when hailstones began to fell along the course, organisers were forced to halt proceedings.

Racing was initially suspended but the ITU then announced that it had been cancelled due to "extreme weather conditions".

The hailstorm and high winds became "too hazardous" for the race to continue, they said.