Flora Duffy On Comeback And Medal Hopes

June 2, 2024 | 2 Comments

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Dame Flora Duffy said she never gave up hope of defending her Olympic title as she prepares to challenge for another medal at the Paris Games.

The Olympic champion returned to action after an 18-month lay-off at the recent World Triathlon Championship Series [WTCS] Yokohama in Japan, finishing seventh before racing again a few weeks later at WTCS Cagliari, where she placed eighth.

Duffy’s world ranking had plummeted so dramatically during her absence that she required a “special invitation” from World Triathlon to compete in Yokohama.

She said her burning desire to race in Paris on July 31 kept her going through the darkest parts on her road to recovery.

“It’s something that I’ve never even thought of,” Duffy told the Triathlete website when asked if she ever considered not competing in Paris.

“Of course, you want another [Olympic medal]! There were lots of little things to keep me going and excited after Tokyo [in 2021].

“My gold medal is bigger than sport, and it’s insane how moved and excited people are when you show it to them!”

When asked by Triathlete to describe the injury that kept her out of action for so long, Duffy replied: “Explain my injury?” Gosh, I feel like, at this point, I can’t even remember where to start!”

The 36-year-old started suffering from patellar tendinopathy during the 2022 season, racing through the pain barrier to chalk up several victories, including the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and fifth at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in St George, Utah.

“I was able to manage it, but by 2023, a lot was going on, and my whole knee was so reactive and wasn’t really responding to much treatment or rehab,” Duffy said.

She spent last year recovering from her injury, receiving several platelet-rich plasma [PRP] injections, undergoing extensive rehab and a hydro dissection procedure to clean out scar tissue before slowly rebuilding her fitness.

“My quad had lost a lot of volume,” Duffy added, “so rebuilding that has been a whole process.”

Duffy said her right knee still bothers her when cycling and running and will have to manage the issue for the remainder of her career.

“I’ve been running since January, but that has not gone smoothly or particularly well,” she said. “I feel like I was in the ‘walk-run’ period for a long time.”

The four-time world champion said she was encouraged by her run Cagliari and believes she is edging closer to regaining her top form.

She will compete in her fifth Olympics in Paris, having been lapped out as a teenager in Beijing in 2008, crashing in London in 2012 and coming 45th, finishing eighth in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and winning gold in Tokyo and the rescheduled Games in 2021.

Flora Duffy Bermuda June 2 2024 (1)

Flora Duffy Bermuda June 2 2024 (2)

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Comments (2)

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  1. Barbara Cooper says:

    I will be routing for Flora Duffy in the Olympics, also for Jessica Cooper Lewis in the Paralympics. Both are International Stars, of whom Bermuda is extremely proud …………

  2. Lion Paw says:

    Let’s go Dame Duffy the country is behind you again

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