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Foot injury ends Duffy’s bid for world title

Best shot: Flora Duffy gives it her all in Hamburg, but admitted it was a race too soon as she struggled with a recurring foot injury that has forced her out of this weekend's event in Edmonton (File photograph by Janos M. Schmidt/ITU Media)

Flora Duffy has pulled out of the ITU World Triathlon Series race in Edmonton this weekend, saying that she has “no chance to win or podium in the series”.

The two-times WTS champion and Commonwealth Games gold medal-winner has been suffering from a recurring foot injury that forced her to miss the series event in Leeds on June 9.

She raced back to compete in Hamburg, Germany, on July 14, but was clearly bothered by the injury and finished only tenth. The 30-year-old Bermudian is ranked fourth in the overall standings, with Katie Zaferes, the American, leading the way.

“Sadly, I won’t be suiting up for @wts_edmonton on the weekend,” Duffy posted on Twitter. “I’m devastated. I’m angry. A tough learning curve and of course hindsight is 20/20. Wishing I had done things a little differently as I returned from Yokohama but lessons learnt!”

Duffy was one of several competitors who crashed out of the bike stage of the opening race of the season in Abu Dhabi in March, but bounced back the next month to claim Commonwealth gold on the Gold Coast, Australia, before a triumphant homecoming in front of a raucous crowd to dominate MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda. She then won in Yokohama, Japan, in May to put her at the top of the WTS standings before Leeds and Hamburg, which Duffy admitted was a race too soon.

“To keep the series alive, I raced in Hamburg but that proved to be too soon and set me back again,” she tweeted. “So pulling out of Edmonton means I have no chance to win or podium in the series.

“It sounds simple to put together six good — actually really good — races, but in reality you need a bit of luck and everything to go smoothly. Now to get this foot fixed!”

Even though Duffy has resigned herself to not winning a hat-trick of WTS titles, 2018 must still be seen as a wildly successful year for the former Warwick Academy pupil.

Duffy put Bermuda at the top of the Commonwealth Games medals table, by winning the first event of the competition.

She became the first Bermudian female to win a Commonwealth medal, and only the second athlete in history to win gold for the island, after Clarance “Nicky” Saunders won the high jump in Auckland in 1990.

She then went on to make history as the first woman to win a world series race after being the fastest in all three disciplines of swim, bike and run when she was victorious in Bermuda.

“It was an amazing moment for me and my sporting career,” she said after thrashing the competition at WTS Bermuda. “It was incredible!”

Duffy was also awarded the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday list and was named Athlete of the Month, alongside Los Angeles Lakers basketball star LeBron James, by the United States Sports Academy in April.