2016 ITU world champ, Spaniard Mario Mola, has retained his Gold Coast crown after a sprint finish that saw off rivals Fernando Alarza, Javier Gomez Noya, and Richard Murray.

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The sprint distance race came down to the final 5km run, with Mola locked in a battle with fellow Spanish athletes Alarza and Gomez, and South African Murray. But in the final few hundred metres Mola pulled away from Murray to take his second consecutive Gold Coast win, in a time of 52 minutes and 35 seconds.

“It was a very tough race as usual, but with the sprint, Richard, Fernando and Javi they were all on fire. I had to give 100 percent today to get this win,” Mola said.

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