There was a combination of satisfaction tinged with disappointment for Hannah Kitchen after she finished sixth in the International Triathlon Union World Aquathlon Championships in Chicago yesterday.

Having won the European crown in Cologne in July and finished third at the worlds in Edmonton last year, the Rickmansworth triathlete hoped to be among the medals again. However, Kitchen has spent much of the past 12 months struggling with a foot condition, although she went into the championships in good heart on the back of a month of solid running training.

“I’m pleased with the result, though disappointed not to medal which was my aim going into the race, but I gave it my best on the day,” the former Watford Grammar School for Girls pupil said. “International races are always hard and it’s a world championship so they aren’t just going to give the title away.”

Kitchen was firmly in the mix for a medal following the 750km swim in Lake Michigan, clocking 9.37. But her hopes were to fade over a “flat, fast” 5km run and she crossed the line in 30.58, more than a minute-and-a-half behind gold medallist Anastasia Abrosimova.

“I was pleased to have a great swim, exiting the water as a pack of three with two Russians,” Kitchen said. “I had a good transition and was first out, only to be swiftly overtaken by the eventual winner.

“I knew the run was always going to be hard, especially given my preparation and ongoing plantar fascia injury but I hung on to cross the line in sixth.”

Kitchen is now planning to spend a few days in the American city and take in the age group and elite races at the climax to the international triathlon calendar. But her season is not quite over yet.

“I’ve got one more race left this season, an Olympic distance triathlon at Hever Castle at the end of September then I will be finished for the year,” the Hillingdon Triathlete and Watford Harrier explained. “I’ll have a bit of a break, hopefully get to the bottom of my foot problems and then straight into winter training ready to come out the other side fit and ready to face again.

“I’m pleased with my season overall, again given the lack of run training I’ve been able to do. I’ve come away with a gold medal from the European Aquathlon Championships, sixth place overall in the British Triathlon Super Series and I’ve led the swims out at the Blenheim Triathlon and at my first European Cup triathlon in France.

“So there’s plenty of positives but still lots to work on for next year in order to be competitive at the highest level.”