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Duffy’s final test before going for gold

High expectations: Duffy is top of the world rankings

Flora Duffy will be among those competing for the $60,000 in prize money up for grabs at this weekend’s Montreal ITU Triathlon World Cup.

Duffy is among an elite group of Olympic-bound athletes using Sunday’s event as a final dress rehearsal for the Rio Olympics, which officially get under way tomorrow with the opening ceremony.

Expectations will be high for Duffy who presently tops the world rankings.

However, the Bermuda triathlete will have her work cut out competing against a formidable field that includes Australians Ashleigh Gentle and Erin Densham, the 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner, Kirsten Sweetland and Yuka Sato.

Duffy, who will compete over the Olympic distance racecourse comprised of a 1,500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run, has taken her game to whole new level this year and appears to be reaping the rewards for all of the hard work she has put into perfecting her craft at her training base in Colorado.

Regarded as one of the fiercest competitors on the bike, Duffy enters this weekend’s event in Montreal high on confidence following her stunning victory at last month’s Vattenfall World Triathlon Stockholm.

Also competing in Montreal at the weekend are top local juniors Tyler Smith and Erica Hawley.

Smith is making his debut in the senior men’s division at the ITU World Cup level and will have his work cut out competing in a field boasting a number of top 50 World Series ranked triathletes who have had podium finishes in this level of racing this year.

Like Duffy, Smith is also competing over the Olympic distance.

Meanwhile, Hawley will be looking to build upon her solid showing at last month’s Canadian Nationals when she competes in the Under-23 Quebec Grand Prix triathlon.

The promising female triathlete will renew rivalries with many of the leading Canadian juniors whom she competed against at the Canadian nationals two weeks ago en route to an impressive fifteenth-place finish. Hawley is competing over the sprint distance comprising of a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5k run.

Smith and Hawley both underlined their enormous potential by qualifying for September’s 16-19 Elite Triathlon World Championships in Cozumel, Mexico after delivering impressive performances at last month’s CAMTRI Pan American Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

Smith finished thirteenth and Hawley a respectable nineteenth.