Australia's Brittany Dutton claimed victory at the Xuanwu Lake Triathlon Venue, but in an unusual twist for a sprint distance race, she made the decisive move on the cycle leg.
“Throughout the bike I could see that I could probably pull out and I tried it and got away,” Dutton said. “I decided to hold my lead and it worked.”
Dutton was 30 seconds in front of the chase group after the bike leg, and increased that lead slightly in the run to finish the race at the Xuanwu Lake Triathlon Venue in 59 minutes, 56 seconds.
It was an impressive performance from Brittany to hold off run specialist Stephanie Jenks (USA), who said claiming silver was the perfect way to celebrate turning 17 on Sunday.
“I had confidence in myself that I could do well. It's so great. It's a great birthday present too,” Jenks said.
Emilie Morrier (FRA) took the bronze medal, finishing in 1:00.55, with Germany's Kristin Ranwig fourth.
“I'm so happy. It's a very good race for me, so it's perfect. I'm exploding inside,” Emilie said.
Brittany Dutton went into the lead on the final corner of the second bike lap, pushing ahead of Minami Kubono (JPN).
The Australian held on to that lead for the remainder of the race, and finished the cycle stage around 30 seconds ahead of the chase group of 11 riders.
Earlier, the Japanese triathlete was first out of the water in the swim leg, completing it in 10 minutes, five seconds.
She nearly got tangled in the course rope as she began her exit, but still managed to get on to the bike in first place.
But she was followed just a couple of seconds later by Emily Wagner (CAN), Katherine Vanesa Clemant Materano (VEN); and Jessica Romero Tinoco (MEX).