Butterfield’s Olympic hopes hang in the balance
Butterfield is bidding to regain lost ground in his Olympic bid having endured a difficult year because of shin-splints problems, forcing him to skip several important races.
He did, however, show signs of rediscovering his best form at the recent Pan Am Games in Mexico where Butterfield placing sixth in a star-studded field.
“I was pleased to have a strong performance at the Pan Am Games,” he said. “It is always great to represent Bermuda well. Also, if I don’t make the Olympics next year, I was happy to have performed well for Bermuda at a big event.
“The next few races (ITU World Cups) will make a big difference to my Olympic chances. At the moment it is not looking great but I am always up for the challenge. This year just never really got going.”
Since his strong finish in Puerto Vallarta, Butterfield has caught a cold which he hopes to shake off before his next race, an ITU World Cup in Guatape, Columbia this weekend.
He then travels to Auckland, New Zealand, for another World Cup race on November 20, before heading to Phuket, Thailand, for an Ironman 70.3 on December 4.
Although the World Cup distance is not Butterfield’s strongest, his performances will be crucial in determining his Olympic fate.
“The next few races will make a big difference to my Olympic chances. At the moment it is not looking great but I am always up for the challenge,” said the 28-year-old.
“This year just never really got going, I was pleased to race well a week ago in Mexico, but I have caught a cold since and I am now on antibiotics. Hopefully I can get healthy for this weekend. I think I will as I am resting as much as I can; we will see how this races goes, it will be interesting. Training was going well until the last few days being sick, we will see.”
Earlier this year Butterfield and Flora Duffy were awarded London 2012 Scholarships to help them prepare for the Olympics.
A total of 16 triathletes, eight men and eight women, received Olympic Solidarity awards by the International Triathlon Union (ITU), the largest number ever handed out.
All of the recipients were identified by their own National Olympic Committees as potential stars on the international triathlon scene.
Also racing this weekend is Tyler’s wife Nikki Butterfield in Henderson, Nevada, at the ITU Long Course World Championships.
She is one of the favourites after beating the defending champion Caroline Steffen in Syracuse 70.3 in September.