As they did last year before both missing out on the world title, Britain's Alex Yee, right, and New Zealand's Hayden Wilde, left, lead going into the World Triathlon Championship Finals ©Getty Images

Pontevedra in north-western Spain is ready to host the World Triathlon Championships Finals here over the next three days, with men's and women's elite titles set to be decided.

Although an established host of triathlon events, this year's event is set to mark the first time Spain has held the Championship Finals.

In the elite men's and women's races - scheduled for Saturday (September 23) and Sunday (September 24) respectively - it is set to serve as the seventh and crucial deciding event on this year's Championship Series, and also offers crucial Paris 2024 Olympics ranking points.

Competition is due to start tomorrow in Pontevedra with age group World Championships in the super sprint distance, covering a 300 metres swim, 6.4 kilometres bike and 1.6km run leg, starting at the Tirantes Bridge.

The Paratriathlon World Championships are then scheduled for Saturday, offering qualification points for the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

Para triathlon routes cover a 750m river swim, 20km bike and 5km run.

Susana Rodríguez of Spain and Britain's Dave Ellis are defending their women's and men's visual impaired titles respectively.

The women's PTS5 features an intriguing battle between the Britain's Paralympic champion Lauren Steadman, defending champion Grace Norman of the US and another Briton in Claire Cashmore, while Canada's Stefan Daniel is hoping to defend his title against Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Martin Schulz of Germany.

Paralympic and world champion Alexis Hanquinquant of France starts as favourite to continue his domination of the men's PTS4 despite a recent injury, and a resurgent Kelly Elmlinger of the US is hoping to regain her women's crown.

In the PTS2, American trio Allysa Seely, the Paralympic champion, Hailey Danz, the world champion, and Melissa Stockwell are expected to go head-to-head in the women's race, while in the men's event Jules Ribstein of France faces tough competition in his search for a fourth consecutive world title.

Another French athlete in Elise Marc harbours hopes of a third world title in the women's PTS3, and on the men's side Daniel Molina of Spain is aiming for a fifth.

Athletes are also hoping to continue their domination in the wheelchair category, with Kendall Gretsch of the US undefeated since winning women's gold at Tokyo 2020 and Jetze Plat of The Netherlands seeking an eighth straight world title in the men's event.

The men's under-23 World Championship race is also scheduled for Saturday, followed by the Championship Final in the elite men's on an Olympic distance 1,500m swim, 40km bike and 10km race distance.

In last year's Championship Final in Abu Dhabi, it was expected to be a battle between New Zealand's Hayden Wilde and Britain's Alex Yee for the title, but they were stunned by France's Léo Bergere who claimed a first victory of the season to win the overall gold.

Olympic silver medallist Yee leads the standings travelling to Pontevedra with 3,498.67 points, followed by Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Wilde with 3,441.72.

If either win they will be crowned world champion for the first time, but Portugal's Vasco Vilaça on 3,283.76 is among those who can capitalise if Yee finishes fourth or lower and Wilde third or lower.

France's Cassandre Beaugrand, left, and Britain's Beth Potter, right, are the favourites for the elite women's world title ©Getty Images
France's Cassandre Beaugrand, left, and Britain's Beth Potter, right, are the favourites for the elite women's world title ©Getty Images

Bergere has a bigger deficit to overcome this year at 485 points behind Yee in fourth place, while Norway's Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt in seventh on the Series rankings has the potential to throw a spanner in the works.

Age group standard triathlon and aquabike World Championships are scheduled for Sunday, followed by the women's under-23 World Championship and the elite women's season finale.

A new winner to replace Bermuda's four-time world champion Flora Duffy is set to be decided in Pontevedra, with France's Cassandre Beaugrand the current leader on 3,341.45, closely followed by Britain's Beth Potter on 3,309.38.

If either win in Pontevedra they will be crowned world champion, but France's Emma Lombardi on 2,946.16 and Taylor Spivey of the US on 2,836.90 are ready to pounce on any slip ups.

Lombardi can claim the title if she wins and Beaugrand and Potter finish fifth or lower, and Spivey if she triumphs, the front two finish eighth or lower and Lombardi finishes outside the top two.

Competition is due to conclude with the Para triathlon mixed relay, featuring four legs of a 125m swim, 3.5km bike and 780m run, with the last athlete's run extended to 910m.