Flora Duffy swapped her XC bike for her road bike today, Saturday 7th March, to take 3rd place at the International Triathlon Union’s World Cup Series opener in Abu Dhabi in a stellar field of the sport’s top names including world champion Gwen Jorgensen
Flora’s performance was a real break through as she made the podium for the first time in the World Cup Series, the highest level of the sport.
As expected Flora was out with the lead group after the 750 meter rough swim and then made a break on the 20km technical bike course dragging 4 other athletes with her. Duffy then took off on the run to open up a 30 meter gap at 2.5 km of the 5km run. World Champion Gwen Jorgensen , easily the best runner on the ITU circuit, was a minute back after the bike after a poor swim but blew through the field catching Duffy early on the 2nd 2.5km lap as she ran 15 mins 57 secs for the 5km run. Duffy visibly tired on the 2nd lap of the run and was just beaten into 2nd place by the USA’s Katie Zaferes finishing in 59 minutes and 23 secs ; overall it was a brilliant performance by Flora who was visibly delighted when interviewed at the race end, saying that it was a big day for both her and Bermuda. Mum and Dad, Charlie and Maria, also got a few mentions as did Patty and Steve Petty and the “Bermuda group”.
Flora got tremendous accolades for her performance and Bermuda, the “tiny island that seems to produce outstanding triathletes”, was also mentioned numerous times. The Bermuda flag was raised during the medal ceremony.
The race was covered live worldwide from the very impressive venue at Abu Dhabi where no expense was spared. The BBC , UK covered the race live as did other networks worldwide, providing both Flora and Bermuda with tremendous exposure.
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The mens race has yet to start as I post this.
WAY TO GO FLORA !!