Bike crash ends Duffy's Olympic chances
A dejected Flora Duffy saw her Olympic dream end in heartache after suffering a crash early into the bike leg of the women's triathlon in Hyde Park.
Duffy was leading the chase group when disaster struck in front of Buckingham Palace, with the Bermudian falling off her bike at a tricky corner to all but end her second Games campaign before it had really started.
Her fall occurred at the same notoriously tight turn where several of her competitors, including Beijing bronze medallist Emma Mofftatt, came down in the slippery conditions.
Having picked herself off the tarmac, Duffy then endured more misery before she had even finished lap one of the technically demanding 43km bike leg, having to fix a wheel on her battered bike.
The 23-year-old, who finished 45th in a time of two hours, eight minutes and 54 seconds, said: "I crashed on the first lap so that was pretty much my race over. Although I didn't have a great swim I was right where I needed to be and all the big names were around me.
“I crashed quite hard and it took a lot to get up and by the time I got up the pack was gone and I was caught in no-man's land.
“What I didn't realise was that my back wheel was rubbing the brake. I had so much adrenaline that I didn't even notice until I came through on the carpet.
“By that time another group had come through and I tried to get on the back of that but couldn't because of my wheel rubbing; I could barely move.
“I stopped to fix that and by that point I was like 'my race is done.' My race was done as soon as I hit the deck.”
After initially hoping to be pulled from the race after her shock tumble, Duffy said she was determined to complete the triathlon having failed to finish in Beijing four years ago.
“I'm in good form and then something like that happens,” said Duffy, who came out of the water in 27th position.
“I was kind of hoping to get pulled at that point but then I thought I have to finish; I have to at least do better than Beijing,
“It sucks and I'm not very happy. I guess it makes it easier because finishing wherever I did wasn't a result of me sucking.
“It was totally out of my control, I was right at the front of the group but going through that corner a girl went down and I went down on top of her.”
“Maybe I should have got quicker but, I don't know, I was hurt and at that point I was totally out it. It feels like four years down the drain.”
Duffy had entered the Olympics in excellent race form having come third her last World Cup event leading up the Games, in Edmonton, Canada, and was confident of challenging for a top ten finish in London.
The Olympic title was won by Switzerland's Nicola Spirig, with a photo-finish required to separate her in the final sprint from Sweden's Lisa Norden. Australia's Erin Densham finished third.
Bermuda will hope for better luck when Tyler Butterfield competes in the men's triathlon on Tuesday.