Spain's Susana Rodriguez, right, won her fifth visually impaired title at the World Championships ©World Triathlon

It was a good day for the favourites at the World Triathlon Championships Finals here, with Susana Rodriguez, Dave Ellis and Lauren Parker's successful Para triathlon title defences proving a sign of things to come.

The World Triathlon Para Championships were held as a standalone event in Abu Dhabi last year, and returned to the United Arab Emirates capital as part of the Championship Finals, with each race featuring a 750 metres swim, 20 kilometres bike and 5km run.

The visually impaired races were the first to get underway, and two of the sport's most established figures in Briton Ellis and Spaniard Rodriguez again prevailed.

Ellis triumphed in 59min 13sec in the men's race, beating closest challenger Thibaut Rigaudeau of France by 1:04.

Rigaudeau's compatriot Antoine Perel finished in the same time in third.

Rodriguez's winning margin over Francesca Tarantello of Italy in the women's race was 32sec, clocking 1 hour 8min 11sec to win her fifth world title.

Alison Peasgood of Britain claimed an emotional bronze in 1:10:59 wearing a "For George" uniform along with her team-mates to support her brother-in-law George Peasgood, who incurred serious injuries from a cycling accident last month.

The wheelchair races were next to conclude, with Plat of The Netherlands rounding off a fine season with a comfortable victory in 57:56.

Second-placed Florian Brungraber of Austria finished in 1:00:14, while Geert Schipper doubled the Dutch presence on the podium with a time of 1:00:47.

Australia's Lauren Parker won her third consecutive title in the women's wheelchair race ©World Triathlon
Australia's Lauren Parker won her third consecutive title in the women's wheelchair race ©World Triathlon

Parker of Australia then crossed the finish line first in the women's race, winning her third consecutive title at the World Championships in 1:08:43 despite technical issues with her bike.

Paralympic champion Kendall Gretsch of the United States had to settle for second in 1:09:08, while Brazil's Jessica Ferreira was more than two minutes further back in third.

In the men's PTS4, Alexis Hanquinquant of France continued his dominance by extending his winning streak which dates back to September 2019.

Hanquinquant's fifth world title came in 1:00:45, beating the 1:02:32 effort from compatriot and World Championships debutant Pierre-Antoine Baele.

Jeremy Peacock of Australia took third in 1:03:58.

The women's PTS4 title went to Spain's Andrea Miguelez Ranz, who has moved up from PTS3 this year, in 1:12:52.

The 2021 champion Kelly Elmlinger of the US was forced to settle for second in 1:14:32 and another Spanish athlete in Marta Francés Gómez took third.

The PTS5 races featured sublime performances from both winners.

Stefan Daniel of Canada reclaimed his crown in the men's race, clocking 58:24 to edge out Paralympic champion Martin Schulz of Germany by 49sec.

Canada's Stefan Daniel claimed a sensational victory in the men's PTS5 race ©World Triathlon
Canada's Stefan Daniel claimed a sensational victory in the men's PTS5 race ©World Triathlon

In the women's event, Grace Norman of the US prevailed in the battle for gold with Britain's Claire Cashmore, notching 1:05:59 to win by 1:22.

Searing heat was proving a growing factor throughout the morning, with temperatures reaching around 30 degrees Celsius in Abu Dhabi.

Jules Ribstein of France clinched his third consecutive men's PTS2 title, while Hailey Danz of the US backed it with back-to-back golds in the women's equivalent event.

France's Élise Marc reclaimed her women's PTS3 world champion tag in a two-way contest with The Netherlands' Sanne Koopman, while Daniel Molina of Spain won the men's PTS3 race, staving off a challenge from Dutch athlete Nico Van Der Burgt.

Last year's men's PTS3 winner Viktor Chebotarev could not defend his title due to the exclusion of athletes from Russia and Belarus because of the war in Ukraine.

The World Triathlon Championship Finals is due to continue tomorrow with under-23 races for both genders and the women's elite season decider.

The Para triathlon mixed relay is set to make its debut at a World Triathlon event on Saturday (November 26).