Duffy Hopes For Strong Race At 70.3 Worlds

October 28, 2022

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Dame Flora Duffy will pursue her first long-distance title at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St George, Utah, today.

Among the pre-race favourites, Duffy has only completed one half-distance race in her glittering career, a narrow victory over Emma Pallant-Browne at Ironman 70.3 South Africa in January 2020.

The Olympic champion, who accepted a wild card entry, has not yet reached her top form in long-distance races, finishing ninth at the Collins Cup and sixth at the PTO US Open in Dallas this year.

However, as one of the most dominant forces to ever grace short-course triathlon, few will overlook Duffy’s title credentials.

Competing at the 70.3 Worlds has proven elusive for the Bermudian, who missed the events in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 2018 and Nice, France, the following year because of injury.

Dame Flora Duffy Bermuda Oct 28 2022

The race in 2020, for which Duffy had qualified, was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She was eligible to compete last year in St George, Utah, but opted out due to exhaustion after winning the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Speaking about her maiden long-distance win in South Africa, Duffy told a press conference yesterday: “So much has happened since January 2020. That’s actually the only 70.3 I’ve done.

“I’ve tried to do others; I think everyone knows the stories about those races.

“Emma and I raced against one another [in South Africa]. I had a disaster on the bike, and Emma came flying by me. Emma suffered on the run, something to do with her nutrition.

“I was like, Flora, you have to get your butt in gear. I was way back at this point. I was like, you really have to redeem yourself.

“Thankfully, I had some good running legs. I don’t really know how I managed to catch Emma.

“I think both of us finished that race and were like, what happened?

“I won, my only 70.3, and if I can run like that on Friday, I will be very happy.”

Among the title challengers will be Lucy Charles-Barclay, of Britain, the defending champion, American Taylor Knibb, who placed third last year, Canadian Paula Findlay, and British pair Pallant-Browne and Holly Lawrence.

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