As most if not all of you will know now, Flora Duffy completed her second comeback race with an impressive 5th place finish at the ITU World Series Grand Final triathlon in Lausanne, Switzerland. This result followed an impressive win ( after a bizarre disqualification of the first two finishers) in the Olympic distance test event in Japan two weeks earlier.
To her large number of fans in Bermuda and beyond this result was most likely a bit of a disappointment but in pure racing terms and preparation for the 2020 Olympics, no doubt Flora’s sole focus now, these results can only be counted as a massive step forward in her quest for that Olympic medal.
So what are the positives :
- Coming into the two races with less than ideal preparation time she was able to come off the bike with the leading small group.
- Flora showed that with another year of training her chances of being in a lead few out of the water in 2020 is still a very realistic goal.
- If she is then able to produce her usual dynamic ride only the very best will be able to stay with her but their efforts to hold her pace will certainly impact their run.
- Flora’s run showed that she is well on her way to being able to match the best runners in any field, something she showed before her injury.
Baring injury, there is no reason to believe that at the Olympics Flora will not once again be the complete package capable of posting the fastest swim, bike and run. Infact if her bike in her two comeback races is anything to go by, her bike is even more powerful than before her injury.
Flora’s belief in her ability, her will to win and ability to go beyond pain barriers that many other athletes are not capable of doing to her level are the other ingredients that make her a unique combination of physical, mental and emotional strengths that will take her once again to the top.
Finally, the fact that she was able to get in two races in 2019 against such strong fields and produce the results she did are another massive plus as she will start the 2020 season with huge confidence rather than wondering where her form is at.
Stay healthy and focused Flora.