Hewitt wins world triathlon series opener by an inch

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — New Zealand triathlete Andrea Hewitt beat Britain's Jodie Stimpson by just an inch in their sprint finish to the Abu Dhabi world series event on Friday.

Sara Vilic of Austria was seven seconds back in third for her maiden podium in the series.

Hewitt dedicated her first series victory since 2011 to her fiance and coach Laurent Vidal, who died of a heart attack in 2015. Vidal, a Frenchman, was fifth in the London Olympics but retired in 2014 because of heart trouble. He was honored in Abu Dhabi a year ago, and Hewitt said it was emotional to race.

Hewitt and Stimpson began to take charge during the cycle leg, and they, Vilic, and Rachel Klamer of the Netherlands led on the run. Klamer was dropped halfway through the run. Stimpson broke ahead with the finish in sight and appeared set to repeat as champion.

But Hewitt overhauled her right on the line.

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