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Dame Flora Duffy relishing return of World Triathlon Series to Bermuda

Welcome return: Dame Flora Duffy is set to race on isalnd as Olympic champion for the first time after it was announced that Bermuda will once again host a leg of the World Triathlon Championship Series in November (AP Foto/David Goldman)

Dame Flora Duffy is relishing the opportunity to finally race in front of a home crowd as reigning Olympic champion when the World Triathlon Championship Series returns to Bermuda in November.

Having clinched the island’s first ever gold medal ― winning in the women’s triathlon in Tokyo, in July ― the 34-year-old was denied the opportunity to race on home soil as part of a memorable homecoming in October, after the cancellation of the World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships, owing to a surge in active Covid-19 cases.

However, Duffy can now look forward to finally racing amid what promises to be a special occasion, after World Triathlon confirmed Bermuda will host the sixth race of this series this year on November 5 and 6.

“On a personal note I’m really excited for the chance to race at home as Olympic champion and everything that comes with that,” she said. “I think it’s fantastic that the race will happen this year.

“It’s just really exciting, especially off the back off the last two years, when the race was unable to be staged because of Covid and particularly last year where it was so close to the race day actually happening on the back of the Olympics.

“That was a really sad moment for a lot of people and so I’m really grateful that the race has been confirmed for this year and I’m thankful for everyone involved for pushing to make this happen and pursuing the opportunity again this year.

“I also think it will be a great event for Bermuda to host a big event again and hopefully we can have the whole community come out and support the race.

“I know for a fact all my fellow competitors love coming to Bermuda because it’s so different to all the other venues we race. The crowd that comes out and the atmosphere and vibe that creates is just so incredible, it makes such a massive difference.

“Everyone is excited and I know it will be such a great event, I can’t wait for November.”

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.

Scheduled as the final race before the World Triathlon Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi from November 24 to 26, the race in Bermuda could play a decisive role in shaping the standings ahead of a world champion will be crowned in the United Aran Emirates.

“At the moment it is the last race before the Grand Final and so this race will be very important for a lot of competitors that are in the running for the overall series titles,” added Duffy, who herself will be hopeful of being in contention for a record-breaking fourth series title.

“That adds another dimension to the race and creates a whole load more storylines that stage of the season of who might be in contention.

“That’s really exciting and just makes it even more of an important race for a lot of people going into it ahead of the finals in Abu Dhabi.”

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.

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.

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Published February 19, 2022 at 8:02 am (Updated February 19, 2022 at 2:45 pm)

Dame Flora Duffy relishing return of World Triathlon Series to Bermuda

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