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Friday, November 18, 2022
Taylor-Brown vs Duffy: The Battle for 2022 World Title

Two women have utterly dominated the World Triathlon Championship Series over the past 12 months in the race to become 2022 World Triathlon Champion. With three WTCS Golds each to their name so far, Georgia Taylor-Brown leads Bermuda’s Flora Duffy by just 70 points heading into the final race of the year.

The Brit won the pandemic-affected standalone World Championships in 2020, while Duffy has taken the title on three occasions: 2016, 2017 and 2021. A fourth would see her pull clear of Australia’s Emma Snowsill as the only woman ever to be crowned World Champion four times, and add yet another slice of triathlon history to the CV of Bermuda’s sporting idol.

Taylor-Brown’s narrow lead in the Maurice Lacroix Rankings comes by virtue of Silver in Leeds being her fourth scoring race, against Duffy’s Bronze in Yokohama. Cassandre Beaugrand and Laura Lindemann are the only two other athletes to have won gold this campaign, but it is the consistency of Beth Potter that leaves her in overall third, a position she would realistically be hoping to consolidate rather than build on next Friday, November 25th.

Winner takes it all – almost

With the margins so fine between the two leaders, the permutations that will deliver either the title in Abu Dhabi are relatively straightforward.

Put simply, Gold for either Duffy or Taylor-Brown in Abu Dhabi will see them crowned World Champion.

The two may have been perennial podium forces this season but they haven’t faced each other since the Commonwealth Games. Another straight shootout between the two for the biggest prize of the year is a mouthwatering prospect after the fireworks in Birmingham and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

It stays a straight head-to-head for the title right down to a fifth-place finish, a result that would leave Duffy needing at least a one-athlete buffer between her and Taylor-Brown at the finish line if she was to become World Champion for an unprecedented fourth time.
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