Flora Duffy aims to fill void left by Bermuda cancellation
Flora Duffy has set her sights on competing at the upcoming World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi presented by Daman.
The 33-year-old Bermudian has revealed her plans to compete at the event featuring the world’s elite triathletes to take place on Yas Island on November 5 and 6.
“I have raced in Abu Dhabi a couple of times but since they have moved into a new location, which they did in 2018, we race on an F1 track and I’ve never completed the race on that course,” Duffy told The Royal Gazette. “So I suppose going to Abu Dhabi will be nice to have a good race there and to finish, to not crash.”
The field is expected to boast an impressive line-up of Olympic and world champions including defending men’s and women’s champions Mario Mola and Katie Zaferes.
Points earned at the final World Triathlon Championship Series event of the year will count towards the 2022 season.
Duffy is fresh off victory on her debut at the Super League Triathlon championship series finale in Malibu at the weekend.
Her dominant display on the way to claiming the title capped a memorable and historic summer in which she clinched Bermuda’s first Olympic gold medal and the World Triathlon Championship Series title for a record-equalling third time.
Meanwhile, Duffy is also exploring other options to compensate for the cancellation of the 2021 World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championship. The championship was scheduled to be held in Bermuda from October 15 to 17 but has been cancelled amid the spike in Covid-19 cases on island.
“I would just like to do another race now that Bermuda is cancelled before I finish up my year,” Duffy added. “Still looking at the options but it’s quite tricky because there’s not many options and some of them are in kind of like far-reaching places in the world.”
Among the options she is exploring is potentially competing in a half-Ironman event.
“It would be half-Ironman, a 70.3, and the reason I would do that is to solidify my qualification for the Half-Ironman World Championships next year,” Duffy said. “Just easy to come and get it done so it’s out of the way because what I’ve learnt is that races chop and change and before you know it you’re in a time crunch trying to fit everything in. So that would be the reasoning for doing a 70.3 at the end of the year.”
Duffy is also considering competing in the Xterra World Championship in Kapalua, Maui, on December 5.
“That will be my final race but again we’re still waiting for 100 per cent confirmation that that race will go on because Hawaii is very similar to Bermuda,” said Duffy, who is a five-times Xterra world champion. “If they get a small spike in Covid, their hospitals fill up quickly and they can’t hold mass-participation races.
“The Ironman World Championships which was to be held in a couple of weeks, which Tyler [Butterfield] was preparing for in Kona, was cancelled four or five weeks ago now, so we are very 50/50 about whether Xterra Worlds will be held in Maui.”
Before heading to Abu Dhabi Duffy will return to Bermuda to celebrate her historic gold medal-winning exploits at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The Government announced this month that October 18 would be declared Flora Duffy Day in recognition of the triathlete’s success.
Duffy will be welcomed back to the island on October 11 with a motorcade in her honour. She will be greeted at the airport by a delegation and taken to the Cabinet Office by motorcade before she meets David Burt, the Premier, for a special presentation.
“We will be in Bermuda in two weeks,” Duffy said. “I am excited to go back and obviously it’s my first time back since Tokyo.”