Andrea Hewitt lost ground on her rivals jostling for the world triathlon title but she is still in with a shot of claiming the crown at the season-ending ITU World Triathlon grand final in Auckland on Labour Weekend.

Hewitt finished 11th at the latest round in Yokohama this morning (NZT) and dropped to fourth in the world rankings. She is 470 points behind Australia's Erin Densham who tops the rankings but must finish well in Auckland, which offers extra points, and hope other results go her way.

Kate McIlroy finished 12th and is 11th in the overall standings.

A start in the Yokohama race was in doubt after a typhoon hit the city overnight. It forced organisers into a huge clean-up operation and it also saw the cancellation of the swim familiarisation and concerns that the course may not be ready for racing today.


But the winds dissipated in time for racing to commence in warm and humid conditions with a non-wetsuit swim.

McIlroy and Hewitt exited the water among the lead group of 18 for the cycle leg but a lack of cohesion on the flat course allowed the chase group to bridge the one minute and 18 second gap meaning a group of 28 riders formed.

Every big name was present, with Densham, London silver medallist Lisa Norden of Sweden, Australia's Emma Moffatt, Barbara Riveros Diaz of Chile and a host of other renowned runners sitting and conserving their energy for the 10km run.

McIlroy and Hewitt couldn't cope with the pace on the run and were dropped early with Norden winning in a sprint finish to move to second on the world rankings.

Kris Gemmell lines up in the men's race tomorrow.