From reading the reporting on Flora Duffy’s performance in Cozumel, it seems that there is some confusion as to what exactly Flora achieved. The emphasis has been mostly on winning the World (points) Series, in itself a great achievement. However, winning the Grand Final is at least equal to winning the World Series.
The Grand Final in the ITU World Series is UNOFFICIALLY considered to be the World Championships of triathlon even though it is now referred to as the Grand Final. There is as much prestige attached to winning the Grand Final, or even more prestige, as to winning the World Series as the entry list for the Grand Final ( except sometimes in an Olympic year when one or two medal winners might not compete ) invariable consists of all of the best triathletes in the world. The world’s best triathletes do not attend all of the remaining World Series events as they tend to pick and choose which races they participate in according to their race schedules.
For example, Alistair Brownlee, the mens’ Olympic gold medallist in 2012 and 2016, does not compete in many World Series events as he chooses to focus on the Grand Final, and the Olympics in an Olympic year, presumably as he sees it as a bigger goal than the World Series as it attracts all of the world’s best.
The reporting has not really been clear that the Grand Final is effectively the World Championships of triathlon. It is a shame that it is referred to as the Grand Final and not the World Championships.
To be clear, the 2016 Grand Final in Cozumel was the strongest field assembled in triathlon in 2016, even stronger than the Olympics as the Olympics only allows a certain number of triathletes to compete for their country. So, for example, Jodie Stimpson of the UK (final World Series ranking 7th) and Summer Cook of the USA ( final ranking 19th and winner of the Edmonton World Series event) were not at the Olympics but did participate in Cozumel. Charlotte McShane of Australia, who won bronze in Cozumel in the Grand Final, was not on the Australian team at the Olympics.