Even with reigning champ Gwen Jorgensen and Brit duo Non Stanford and Vicky Holland opting out of the series opener, it was a veritable roll-call of sporting greats in the UAE – all three London Olympics’ medallists Nicola Spirig, Lisa Norden and Erin Densham, 2015 WTS Series runner-up Sarah True, Commonwealth gold medallist Jodie Stimpson and two-time world champ Helen Jenkins.