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Olympic medal a long shot, says Duffy

Flora Duffy believes Gwen Jorgensen can be beaten at the Olympic Games in Rio, but believes her own chances of winning a medal are “a very long shot”.

Jorgensen chased down Duffy on Sunday to win the World Triathlon Series race in Leeds, despite the Bermuda triathlete having a 1min 40sec lead going into the run.

However, Duffy is convinced she would have had more of an advantage coming off the bike if team tactics employed by Britain had not prevented her from pushing the pace almost single-handedly.

Duffy points to the WTS event on Australia's Gold Coast earlier this year as evidence of what can happen when the rest of the field works together against Jorgensen, who is favourite to win the gold medal in August.

The United States athlete finished second in that race in April, with Helen Jenkins, of Britain, taking gold after building up a lead of more than minute on the bike alongside Duffy, who finished fourth, one of her best performances in the WTS at that stage.

“Gwen [Jorgensen] sort of proved that if she comes off the bike and it comes down to run, she outruns everyone consistently,” Duffy said in an interview with pontoontri.com. “All girls sort of know that. In Gold Coast, Helen [Jenkins], Andrea [Hewitt] and myself got off the front and Helen ended up winning the race, beating Gwen.

“That's something I would love to happen in Rio and we'll be pushing for.”

The Bermuda triathlete expects the race at the Olympics to be an aggressive one, and believes the bike ride, in which she excels, will ultimately be where the race is won and lost.

And despite the events of the weekend Duffy believes that she can hold off Jorgensen with a lead of around 90 seconds, if she and the other triathletes work together. Something that is not necessarily a given.

“I know that there are other countries that want to win the gold and that they won't settle for silver,” Duffy said.

“I think people have similar thoughts as me, that the bike needs to be used.

“Obviously the goal would be to have a little bit of a breakaway; for me I probably need about 90 seconds on Gwen if I'm running well, but other girls only need about a minute, which is very attainable.

“So, I think you will see a lot of people being aggressive on the bike because they know they can't outrun Gwen [Jorgensen], but if they have 30 seconds, they might be in the chance of getting a medal. It's going to be a very aggressive hard race.”

Aggressive racing has been Duffy's hallmark so far this season, and has powered her to the overall lead in the WTS rankings. Still, despite her position as world No 1 and Bermuda's best medal hope, she considers herself to be an underdog when it comes to the Olympics.

“We [Bermuda] have a very small team going into Rio and I guess if you look at it on a paper I am the consistently best performing athlete going,” she said. “So, if you had to pick one of us to have the hope to win a medal it would probably be me, even if it's a very long shot.

“Bermuda is a tiny country, so I guess I have the focus on me, but I still kind of know realistically where I'm at, and where I could finish if I had my greatest, or if I just have a decent day.”

Aggressive approach: Duffy expects the race in Rio to be hard fought

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Published June 14, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 14, 2016 at 2:27 am)

Olympic medal a long shot, says Duffy

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