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Duffy: Triathlon feels trivial

Flora Duffy admits that triathlon seems “trivial” when compared to the wider crisis at large amid the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Although Duffy was “devastated” by the decision to call off MS Amlin WTS Bermuda on Saturday, she said the bigger priority is to try and protect the island's community from the pandemic.

With more than 180,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide and about 7,000 deaths, the sport's governing body has suspended all activities until April 30, including WTS Bermuda, which was due to be held from April 17 to 19.

“It's devastating because I love racing and love racing at home,” Duffy told The Royal Gazette.

“I'm also sad for the community that has put so much effort into the making the race happen. I know it's months and years of work.

“It's really sad, but the bigger priority right now is stopping the spread of Covid-19 and keeping everyone safe.

“My thoughts are with everyone there and I'm just really hoping that Bermuda can be spared in some way.”

Duffy was ruled out for eight months last season because of a career-threatening foot injury before making a superb return to competitive action, winning a fifth Xterra world title in Kapalua, Hawaii, in October.

The two-times world champion was confident of carrying her strong form into the new season as she builds towards the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, where she is expected to be among the medal contenders.

However, with Covid-19 wiping out most of the world's major sporting events, she remains “unsure of what the rest of the year will hold”.

She added: “Sport and triathlon and trying to stay fit seems quite trivial. I'm just doing what I can to help limit the spread of the virus and I hope that's everyone's top priority right now.

“Every athlete around the world is in the same boat. Everyone is training and suffering, but that doesn't seem important at all when people are fighting for their lives.

“It's a case of taking it day by day, week by week and see how things unfold.

“We'll see what happens. Maybe racing will resume in a few months.”

Duffy, 32, is due to have stitches removed from her hand today after snapping a fifth metacarpal during training this month.

However, with public swimming pools being closed in Stellenbosch, South Africa, because of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Bermudian is exploring alternative training options.

“Thus far, the virus has not particularly affected my training at the moment, although it will by the end of the week,” she said.

“I have my stitches out tomorrow and I'm able to get back in the water; however, I've just received an e-mail to say the pools are all closed. Maybe I'll have to look for an open-water swimming option.

“There's plenty of dams here and I'll look to see if any of the private pools are staying open.”

Bigger picture: Flora Duffy

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Published March 17, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated March 17, 2020 at 9:07 am)

Duffy: Triathlon feels trivial

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