Aussies win mixed triathlon relay silver

Defending champions Australia rallied to snatch the silver medal in the ITU triathlon world mixed relay championship in Hamburg.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Jake Birtwhistle contested the anchor leg for Australia, outsprinting American Kevin McDowell over the final 100 metres to snatch second place behind France on Sunday.

France, the 2015 world champions, won comfortably in 1:20.06 with Saturday's individual women's winner Cassandre Beaugrand and men's silver medallist Vincent Luis playing major roles.

Ashleigh Gentle set Birtwhistle up in an impressive third leg after debutant Natalie Van Coevorden started for the Australians and was followed by Aaron Royle.

"It was a tough finish," said Birtwhistle. "I really didn't have much of an idea how far McDowell was ahead.

"But when I could see he was starting to struggle I thought 'I'll have a crack here' and I was happy to (just) pip him in the last 100 metres."