Duffy shocked by top ten China finish
Flora Duffy said securing a top ten finish in the weekend’s Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Grand Final in Beijing, China exceeded her own expectations.
The 24-year-old triathlete finished ninth in an elite women’s field that included Olympic and world champions competing on the same course used for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Duffy completed the 1,500 metre swim, 40 kilometre bike and ten kilometre run in an overall time of two hours and 24 second to enhance her status as a world class athlete.
“I was very pleased with how the race went and very surprised as well. I knew I was in great shape but for the race to unfold like that was definitely a shock,” Duffy said.
“Going in I didn’t have any particular expectations, I just wanted to finish the race. I felt I would be happy with the outcome as long as I put in a strong performance and so to come out ninth definitely exceeded my expectations.”
Duffy’s superb showing in Beijing again demonstrated that she can hold her own against the world’s elite and was by far her best performance to date in the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship series.
“It was a huge race because it was the finale of that series and everyone was there,” she said. “It was a real big deal and the Olympic and multiple world champion (Emma Snowsill) was there as well as the top three (Helen Jenkins, Andre Hewitt and Sarah Groff) in the world right now.
“It was a great race because it was a true triathlon, I felt it didn’t just come down to a running race. We pushed the pace from the swim, rode the bike really hard and then ran really fast and it was just nice to see the race broken up and not come down to the fastest runner.”
Duffy was particularly delighted with her time of 36 minutes and 40 seconds in the 10K run.
“I definitely had one of my better runs of recent and so I was pleased with that,” she said. “It was definitely one of my better performances of the season.”
The Bermudian’s superb finish in Beijing catapulted her from 96th to 37th in the world rankings to bolster her chances of 2012 Olympic qualification.
Duffy now intends to build on her recent success when she competes in a World Cup event and the Pan-Games in Mexico next month.
She is also due to compete in another World Cup triathlon in Columbia in November.
Kiwi Hewitt won the weekend’s event in an overall time of one hour, 58 minutes and 26 seconds.
England’s Jenkins finished a close second in a time of one hour, 58 minutes and 40 seconds, followed by Switzerland’s Melanie Annaheim who covered the course in a time of one hour, 58 minutes and 58 seconds.