Dame Flora Duffy bracing for another busy season on the international stage
Dame Flora Duffy has launched her preparations for what is shaping up to be another hectic year of competition on the international triathlon scene.
The Olympic and multiple world champion has resumed training after taking a well-deserved rest, following an historic 2021 campaign. She has set her sights on making a first appearance of the year at the World Triathlon Championship Series season-opener in Yokohama, Japan, in May.
“It’s looking like it will be in May, the first round of the World Triathlon Series in Yokohama,” Duffy told The Royal Gazette.
“That will be my first race and then from there, it’s kind of pretty busy racing from May through to November, so I’m going to enjoy these few months that I have right now to just train and be in one place before a busy year of racing kicks off in May.”
The 34-year-old won a record-equalling third World Triathlon Championship Series title last year and is expected to be thick in the hunt for honours in Yokohama on May 14 and 15.
Duffy skipped last year’s event to focus instead on her preparations for last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, where she won Bermuda’s first gold medal, with a winning time of 1hr 55min 36sec, on the way to becoming the first triathlete to be crowned the world and Olympic champion in the same year.
The Bermudian also won an unprecedented sixth Xterra World Championship title and captured glory on her debut at the Super League Triathlon championship series finale for added measure last year.
In recognition of her enormous success and contributions to Bermuda sport, Duffy was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire, having initially been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire after winning gold in the women's triathlon at the XXI Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018.
She was also listed by The World Economic Forum as one of nine women who made history in 2021, named by Triathlon Magazine Canada as the 2021 International Woman Triathlete of the Year and among the world’s top 50 best-conditioned athletes comprising the top 25 male and female athletes by Sports Illustrated.
Duffy has been ranked eleventh among the female category, which includes other athletes such as gymnast Simone Biles, tennis player Naomi Osaka and sprinter Allyson Felix, and is also the only triathlete to make the list.
She opted out of the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series season-opener in Hamburg last September, but was victorious in her previous appearance on the circuit in Abu Dhabi in November to get her title defence off to the perfect start.
Duffy completed the sprint distance of 750 metres swim, 20 kilometres bike and 5km run in 55:42, holding off a strong challenge from Georgia Taylor-Brown to finish 12 seconds ahead of the British athlete, whose compatriot Sophie Coldwell finished third to round off the podium places.
Duffy is third in the new Maurice Lacroix WTCS rankings on 1,000 points, after two of eight events scheduled for the season, which concludes in Abu Dhabi, where in November, she will defend her title.
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