• Australia's Ashleigh Gentle (L) with Laura Duffy (Bermuda) and Katie Zaferes (USA) in ITU final. (AAP)
Olympian Ashleigh Gentle has powered home in the run on a wet Rotterdam course to secure second place overall for the 2017 World Triathlon Series.
Source:
AAP
17 Sep - 11:56 AM 

Australia's Ashleigh Gentle finished second in the World Triathlon Series after her sixth-placed effort in the final event of the year in Rotterdam.

Bermuda's Flora Duffy won the event in Europe and has been crowned champion of the nine-event WTS.

Gentle became only the second Australian woman since the WTS replaced the one-off World Championship in 2009 to make it onto the podium.

The only other was triple Olympian Emma Moffatt who won the inaugural title in 2009 in Hungary.

Disillusioned after a disappointing Olympic debut, 26-year-old Gentle from the Gold Coast knew she had to make changes and started with a new coach.

She joined Jamie Turner, the man who coached the US Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen to her greatest triumph on Copacabana Beach last year.

After a break out year, which included her first WTS victory and a World Teams Relay gold medal, Gentle came into this week's ITU grand final in second place on the WTS rankings behind the unstoppable Duffy.

Rotterdam was wet, windy, slippery and tricky and tested everyone.

Gentle probably didn't plan on being three minutes down with 12 athletes ahead of her after the 1.5km swim and 40km on the bike.

She was outside the top 10 and although she didn't know it at the time she actually had to run herself into sixth place at least to ensure she had second place securely tucked away.

"When I ran past Jamie (Turner) he told me 'You are doing really well...happy hunting...there's rewards up the road'," said Gentle.

"I knew I had to dig deep and I thought, this is it...it's the last race of the year and I just went as hard as I could.

"I've absolutely loved my time training with Jamie; it would not have been possible without him."

Gentle's silver success was the icing on the cake for a highly successful campaign for the Australian Triathlon team that finished with three gold, three silvers, one bronze.

The first four medals went to Australia's para-triathletes - with Rio champion Katie Kelly (and guide Michellie Jones) and Commonwealth Games nominee Emily Tapp both claiming gold, while Sally Pilbeam and Justin Godfrey took silvers.

Earlier in the day, Gold Coast's Matt Hauser became the fourth Australian to win the World Junior title joining Ben Bright, Chris Hill, and Courtney Atkinson and taking the team's third gold.

It also capped an outstanding year for the 19-year-old who in July combined with Gentle, Jake Birtwhistle and Charlotte McShane to win Australia's first ever Elite World Teams Relay title - a new event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.