Duffy’s rival Gentle unscathed from crash
Ashleigh Gentle, arguably Flora Duffy’s main rival for the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, will line up on the Gold Coast after emerging unscathed from her crash the World Triathlon Series at Abu Dhabi.
The Gold Coast native was among several competitors, including Duffy, to have an accident when the course around the Yas Marina Formula One Grand Prix circuit became slippery after rain.
Unlike Duffy, who was unable to continue, Gentle managed to remount her bike and finish in thirteenth place in a time of 1hr 2min 7sec in Saturday’s opening race of the series.
“Thankful that I finished #WTSAbuDhabi with just some bruising and an ice pack, with men and women slipping on the F1 track all day,” the World No 2 said on her Instagram account.
“Thinking of those who were a lot worse. I ran to 13th and I’m disappointed but glad that I could get to the finish line.”
Duffy, the world No 1, was in the lead when she crashed out during the second lap of the bike stage on a corner that claimed several other riders.
“Tough way to end my race especially as I felt ‘oh so good’,” Duffy said on Instagram.
“Super slick (and in my opinion dangerous) course. My wheels literally went from under me through a corner. And I was being cautious. Body was fine to carry on but bike wasn’t. So disappointed. But at least I could tell the form was there.”
American Katie Zaferes, the world No 3, was taken to hospital semi-conscious, finishing the day with stitches above her eye, concussion and road rash.
Duffy, 30, came about as close to perfection as possible in retaining her ITU World Triathlon Series title last season, winning six of seven races and finishing second in the other in Montreal, where she was beaten by Gentle. With her home crowd cheering her on, it will be difficult to discount Gentle on the Gold Coast next month. The 27-year-old finished ninth at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, one place behind Duffy, who will also compete in the mixed relay team and mountain bike on the Gold Coast.
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