SATURDAY, MAY 12: Flora Duffy has qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Games after placing sixth in the ITU San Diego Triathlon.
The ITU said: “Bermuda’s Flora Duffy confirmed her place in London and kept up her incredible form just one week after taking her first World Cup win in Huatulco.”
It has been a whirlwind week for Duffy, competing in two races just five days apart.
The field for San Diego was much stronger as many of the elite women opted out of the Huatulco race in Mexico to concentrate on the event that was serving as the American Olympic trials.
Duffy has truly been impressive shooting up the ITU Olympic rankings.
Rebecca Much, the ITU race commentator for San Diego, said: You know Flora Duffy might just be Bermuda’s biggest hope for an Olympic medal.”
The first ITU race in San Diego, the original birthplace of modern triathlon started under a clear blue sky. Duffy, Helen Jenkins, Erin Densham, Laura Bennett, Sarah Haskins, Vicky Holland, Sarah Groff and Jessica Harrison exited the swim first.
While they had a lead of almost 30 seconds on the rest of the field leaving the first transition, they worked quickly to extend that to almost a minute at the end of the first lap.
Taking turns at the front to drive the pace, that lead group extended the gap at every one of the eight laps of the bike.
Leaving the second transition, the front group had a lead of 2 minutes and 30 seconds on the rest and while it was clear that the podium places would come from that lead group of eight, the outcome was far from decided.
Duffy fell off the pace from Jenkins, Holland and Bennett moved ahead in a frenetic first lap, with Jenkins going on to win in 1:58.21. Duffy’s time of 2:00.46 was good enough for sixth.
The performance moved her up to 20th in the ITU rankings for this year and 33rd on the Olympic rankings, which is based on multiple years.
She is well ensconced on the Olympic simulation list at #32.
This will mark the second time Duffy will represent Bermuda at the Olympics as she competed at the 2008 Beijing Games in China.
Bermuda could have two triathletes in London as Tyler Butterfield is still attempting to qualify.