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Dame Flora Duffy aims to get world-title defence back on track in Hamburg

Back on track: Dame Flora Duffy

Dame Flora Duffy is relishing a return to action in the World Triathlon Championship Series in Hamburg, Germany, on Saturday.

The 34-year-old withdrew from the previous round in Montreal two weeks ago in favour of competing in the Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant, in what was her final opportunity to seal a qualification spot at the World Championships in St George, Utah, in October.

However, her hopes of qualifying were dashed before the race had even begun, as she was unable to take to the start line because her bike, which should have been loaded on a direct flight from Denver to Montreal, failed to arrive.

Heading into the weekend, Duffy, who finds herself fifth in the overall WTCS standings on 2,482 points, is determined to get her world-title defence back on track having lost further ground to leader Georgia Taylor-Brown, who tops the rankings with 3,850 points.

“I’m really excited for the event this weekend,” said Duffy, who finished seventh in her last WTCS outing in Leeds last month, having only recently recovered from Covid-19.

“I thought I was feeling all right going into Leeds after only just recovering from Covid but it’s only now after a few more weeks that I realise I wasn’t feeling particularly great. Thankfully, I’m feeling a lot better now.

“I’m looking forward to having a good race on Saturday. The last few weeks of training have gone really well.

“Getting Covid was obviously not ideal in my preparation of trying to win the title for a fourth time and so I know I need to have a solid result In Hamburg, preferably a podium if I am going to keep this series open.

“Some of the others have raced extremely well and consistently this year, like Georgia Taylor-Brown who has had some really good scores. If I can get a podium, I’d be really happy.”

As well as reigniting her WTCS campaign, the race is also one the last opportunities to compete ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, at the end of the month, when Duffy will be defending the title she won in 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia.

She heads up the 17-strong team Bermuda team, which also includes fellow triathletes Tyler Butterfield, Erica Hawley and Tyler Smith, as well as cyclists Kaden Hopkins, Caitlin Conyers, Conor White and Nicholas Narraway, track athletes Caitlyn Bobb, Tiara DeRosa, Sakari Famous, Dage Minors and Jah-Nhai Perinchief, swimmers Emma Harvey, Madelyn Moore and Jack Harvey, and squash player Emma Keane.

“Obviously this is also one of my final preparation races before the Commonwealth Games in a few weeks’ time,” Duffy added.

“It’s exciting going in as defending champion and in a way, thankfully, I’m not going in as the favourite, which is quite nice.

“I don’t quite have as much pressure on me that I did in 2018, knowing I’ve already won it. Obviously it would be great to win it again and win another medal for Bermuda.

“I’m training well to try and be able to perform at my best in Birmingham, but the first step is putting together a solid race in Hamburg this weekend.

“After that I will return to Boulder in Colorado and do all of my final training preparations.”

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Published July 06, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated July 06, 2022 at 9:19 am)

Dame Flora Duffy aims to get world-title defence back on track in Hamburg

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