Duffy Finishes 7th In Triathlon Series Leeds

June 11, 2022

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Dame Flora Duffy admits she is battling for peak form after what she called a “ frustrating” start to the year, finishing seventh at the AJ Bell World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds today.

Duffy was looking to build on her encouraging third-place finish in Yokohama last month; however, her preparations for Leeds were less than ideal, having caught Covid-19 for the second time in five months a few weeks ago.

Despite her fitness struggles, Duffy dug deep for seventh, completing the sprint-distance race [750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run] in 59min 44sec.

Cassandre Beaugrand, of France, claimed victory in 59:03, with hometown favourite Georgia Taylor-Brown coming second in 59:12 and her British teammate Sophie Coldwell third in 59:15.

Dame Flora Duffy Bermuda June 2022

“It was a pretty tough day out there,” Duffy told Bernews. “Getting Covid between Yokohama and Leeds wasn’t ideal because, with my late start to the year, having also caught Covid in January, I wanted those three weeks to prepare for this race, which is always tough.

“I didn’t get that because I was so down and out with Covid. To try and race at this level so soon after was difficult.

“It’s been a frustrating year. To get Covid twice is not ideal. The first time I had it, it hit me pretty hard. It took me six weeks to feel normal again!”

The Bermudian started the race among the contenders along with Taylor-Brown and had an impressive swim, coming out of the water in second place behind Beaugrand.

Duffy was part of a lead group of the bike, including Beaugrand, Coldwell and Taylor Spivey, of the United States, but was struggling to keep the pace, losing touch with the front pack in the second lap of five.

The Olympic champion dropped down to thirteenth by the start of the run but showed her fighting spirit to force her way into seventh at the finish.

“The swim went well, and I was pleased with that,” said Duffy, who is pursuing a record fourth world title.

“Onto the bike, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do specific training for this style of racing.

“It’s very surgy and high intensity, and if you haven’t prepared for it, it’s hard to jump right into it.

“Sophie was riding strong and caught me at a weak moment. I was at my limit. There were contenders in the [chase] group, including Georgia and Cassandre.

“I thought I’d see how the run goes and hope for the best. I’ve often had times when I felt terrible on the bike, and the run has gone just fine.

“I was hoping for that, but it wasn’t my day today. It was a solid result, not great.”

With the next race on the WTCS calendar in Montreal in two weeks, Duffy said it will be challenging to fit in the intensity of training she requires to be at her best.

“I only really got training at the beginning of March, I’d say, to my baseline level, which wasn’t that long ago,” she said.

“You need consistent training weeks, plus I’m coming off such a big year like last year [winning the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo]. It will take some time to find my feet again, recover, and get some solid weeks of training.

“That’s really what I need, which is quite hard because there’s a block of races coming up.

“I’ve still got seven weeks before the Commonwealth Games [in Birmingham].”

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  1. Lion Paw says:

    You will get there again Dame. You have shown perseverance before and it will bring you forth again. You came out the water strong!