Duffy claims record fifth Xterra title
Flora Duffy became the first triathlete to win a fifth Xterra World Championship title after reclaiming her crown in Kapalua, Hawaii, yesterday.
Continuing her comeback from a career-threatening foot problem, Duffy exited the water first in 21min 19sec, slightly more than two minutes ahead of Amanda Felder, of the United States, with compatriot Britanny Oliver a further 30 seconds behind.
From there Duffy never looked back, dominating the bike, as she so often does, extending her advantage to more than six minutes over Helena Karaskova Erbenova, of the Czech Republic, and Lesley Paterson, of the US, heading into the run.
The final discipline proved no more than a precession for Duffy, who raced to the finish line in a winning time of 2:49:24, comfortably ahead of Paterson in 3:03:36 and Karaskova Erbenova in 3:04:38, to reclaim a title she had won from 2014 to 2017, before injury forced her to relinquish her crown.
“I was a bit more nervous than normal this week,” said Duffy, speaking to the Triathlonlive website.
“I’ve been in a lot of high pressure races, so it’s not unusual for me, but the thought of winning something for a fifth time and being the only one to do it is pretty mind-blowing.
“I had a great swim, but the first lap of the bike was pretty slippy because it had rained a lot.
“I just tried to keep up and steady and then head into the run and try and enjoy it a little.”
The latest triumph adds to Duffy’s impressive comeback since August, winning the Tokyo Olympic Test Event controversially after Britain’s Jessica Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown were disqualified for causing a deliberate tie, claiming a fifth place at the World Triathlon Series Grand Final in Lausanne, Switzerland, third at the Banyoles ITU World Cup in Spain and a storming victory at the Beijing International Triathlon.
Duffy will now sign off for a month, returning briefly to Bermuda next month before heading to Stellenbosch, South Africa, where she will begin her preparations for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next summer.
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