Duffy holds 14-second advantage in Bahamas
Bermuda's Flora Duffy has a 14-second lead over Katie Zafares, of the United States, after the first day of the Island House Triathlon.
Duffy, the favourite among the 15-woman field, leads after two strong performances in the first two events of the two-day, three-event invitation-only meeting on Highbourne Cay in the Exuma island chain of the Bahamas.
The 30-year-old completed the first event of the seven-kilometre bike, 2km run and 200-metre swim time-trial with a 32-second lead over Kirstin Kasper, also of the US, while Zaferes was a further six seconds back in third place.
The afternoon featured a seven-stage event of a 2km run, 375-metre swim and 10km bike before competitors tackled the courses a second time, finishing with a 1km run. Duffy's lead was cut to 14 seconds after Zaferes clocked the fastest time of 57min 51sec while Duffy recorded a time of 58:09 for an overall time of 1hr 18min 21sec.
Zaferes has an overall time of 1:18:35 while Holly Lawrence, of Britain, is third with an overall time of 1:20:09. Kasper and Ashleigh Gentle, of Australia, complete the top five, 1:51 and 2:19 behind Duffy in what looks to be a two-woman race for the title.
The overall positions will be decided after today's final event, which will be a traditional sprint over a 750-metre swim, 20km bike and 5km run.
Last year, Duffy finished second behind Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen, who won by 18 seconds. However, the Bermudian has started this year's event as a strong favourite in the absence of Jorgensen, who is training for the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Duffy has enjoyed another spectacular season, in which she won the ITU Triathlon World Series for a second successive year and the Xterra World Championship for a fourth time in a row.