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Duffy to test herself on Olympic course in Rio

Games qualifier: Duffy

Flora Duffy will look to continue her scintillating form when she competes in this weekend’s Olympic Test event in Rio.

Duffy followed up her bronze-medal display at the Pan Am Games in Toronto with a victory at the Xterra Mountain Championships in Beaver Creek, and is among the favourites in Rio.

The top three women’s finishers will qualify their country for a place at next year’s Rio Olympics.

Held at the iconic Copacabana Beach, the race will be staged almost exactly a year prior to the Olympics, with Duffy expected to be well suited to the challenging bike course as she goes in pursuit of a podium finish.

The 27-year-old, a two-times Olympian, will hope for better fortunes in Rio should she qualify for the Olympics.

At London 2012 she suffered heartache after crashing in front of Buckingham Palace while leading the chase group. She also endured misery in Beijing 2008, when she failed to finish because of loss of form and illness.

Among the other contenders in Sunday’s race will be Gwen Jorgensen, the most dominant triathlete in the world, logging her tenth straight win in the World Triathlon Series in Hyde Park, London, in May.

Her United States compatriots Sarah True and Katie Zaferes could also be in contention for success in the Olympic event.

Ranked third this season, True just missed out on a medal at the London Olympics in fourth, while Zaferes has enjoyed a breakout year.

Great Britain’s Vicky Holland and Non Stanford, who are housemates and training partners, both claimed podium places at this month’s ITU World Triathlon Series race in Hamburg, Germany, while Australia’s Emma Moffatt has shown signs of returning to form after struggling with illness and injuries for the past two years.

Barbara Riveros earned Chile a place at the Rio Olympics by winning gold at this month’s Pan Am Games.