Duffy to race on home soil as World Triathlon Series returns to Bermuda
Dame Flora Duffy is finally set to have the chance to race in front of a home crowd as reigning Olympic champion, after it was announced that Bermuda will once again host a leg of the World Triathlon Championship Series in November.
Having stormed to an historic gold in the women’s triathlon in Tokyo, in July, the 34-year-old was denied the opportunity to race on home soil alongside compatriots Tyler Smith, Tyler Butterfield and Erica Hawley, as part of a memorable homecoming in October, after the cancellation of the World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships, owing to a spike in active Covid-19 cases.
However, it now looks set that the island will once again be given the opportunity to cheer on their national hero after World Triathlon confirmed Bermuda will host the sixth race of this series this year on November 5 and 6.
The series calendar will kick off in May in Yokohama, then move to Leeds, Montreal, Hamburg and Chengdu before heading to Bermuda in early November.
Abu Dhabi will host the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Finals from November 24 to 26, where the 2022 world champions in the Elite, Under-23 and Para categories will be crowned.
World Triathlon’s executive board approved the proposal from Bermuda to once again host an event of triathlon’s top-tier racing, after the huge success of those held on the island in 2018 and 2019 and following the disappointment of the country having to cancel the planned 2021 World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships because of the impact of the pandemic.
Both the 2018 and 2019 MS Amlin World Triathlon Series events generated overall economic impacts of $4.4 million and $4.7 million respectively for the Bermuda economy, along with double those amounts in projected future tourism, according to PwC.
Local participation in children’s and national triathlons also proved legacy benefits of the events.
“We are delighted to return to Bermuda in 2022, and I am sure that the races will be even more special than the ones we have held there before, with the current — and Bermuda’s first ever — Olympic champion, Flora Duffy, having the opportunity of racing at home, cheered on by all the Bermudian people who have always been so connected and supportive of triathlon,” said Marisol Casado, the World Triathlon president and IOC member.
“To host a race of this level again on the island shows the dedication and commitment of the national federation, the local government, the organisers and all the sponsors with growing the sport of triathlon, and I am sure that all the triathletes will love being back in Bermuda next autumn.”
Duffy, who won a record-equalling third series title last year, got her title defence off to the perfect start after storming to a maiden victory in Abu Dhabi in November.
In her first return to competitive action since winning on her Super League debut in Malibu in September, Duffy showed no signs of a loss of any of her form with a typically astute display on the challenging Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit.
She completed the sprint distance of 750 metres swim, 20 kilometres bike and 5km run in 55min 42sec, holding off a strong challenge from Georgia Taylor-Brown to finish 12 seconds ahead of the British athlete, whose compatriot Sophie Coldwell completed the podium places.
The victory left Duffy — who opted out of the season opener in Hamburg in September — third in the new Maurice Lacroix WTCS rankings on 1,000 points, just 43 adrift of Summer Rappaport, of the United States, who finished seventeenth to add to her third-place finish in Germany, ahead of the season returning in Yokohama.