WTS event inspires next generation’
Steven Petty, the Bermuda Triathlon Association president, believes MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda will have inspired the next generation of island athletes.
With more than 200 children taking part in the Tokio Millennium Re Kids Duathlon last Friday, Petty expects the sport to continue to grow as the next crop of talent dreams of emulating Flora Duffy.
“We had 212 kids in the transition area [for the duathlon] and the event was really well received,” Petty said. “They were so enthusiastic just to be on the same course as the elite adults.”
Petty was also thrilled with the feedback he received from visiting triathlon chiefs about the popular age-group races held before the elite contests on Saturday.
“We had lots of comments from board members from the ITU that competed — the president of the Triathlon Australia, the president of Triathlon UK, and the president of Triathlon USA,” he said. “They said they couldn’t believe the crowd support for an age-group race. It bodes well for the future. The whole execution of the pro race was great.”
Petty added that he was blown away by the thousands of spectators who lined the streets to cheer Duffy on to a memorable victory.
He added that WTS Bermuda was by far and away the biggest triathlon to have been staged on the island and easily eclipsed the Hamilton ITU World Cup in 1997.
“I have to give Flora credit for helping with the turnout,” said Petty, the husband of longtime triathlon official Patty Petty. “It was massive that Flora was going to be here. It was incredible — something I have never seen in Bermuda before in my life. We’ve had big races here but this was over the top!”
Petty praised Duffy for handling the pressure of being home-town favourite and delivering the perfect result.
“She executed a flawless race,” he said. “I kept worrying, ‘Is she too excited, what’s going on?’ But she was in control the whole way.”
Petty’s sentiments were echoed by Bermudian triathlete Tyler Butterfield, who returned home from Colorado to support the event.
“I definitely saw some talent out there from all age groups,” Butterfield said. “I think the future is bright and that’s what me and Flora [Duffy] both came through and so many others.
“I saw talent and enjoyment and that’s exactly what you want because you are going to have the ones who are going to take it as far as they can, but you also need the participation.”