Duffy: Postponing Olympics was right call

  • Triathlon superstar: two-times world champion Flora Duffy

Bermudian triathlon star Flora Duffy said yesterday that the postponement of the Olympic Games was a “tough pill to swallow”, but that the decision was the “right call”.

Duffy, who was expected to be a medal contender in Tokyo in July, said she will now have to make major changes to her triathlon trajectory with the games expected to be held in the summer of 2021.

She was speaking after the organisers of Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee made the call on Tuesday to delay the Games over the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 32-year-old planned to wind down her career after the Olympics and bow out at the ITU Grand Final in Bermuda in September next year.

However, her plans have been adjusted to accommodate her ambition to win an Olympic medal.

Duffy wrote on Instagram yesterday: “In my little triathlon world it is a tough pill to swallow hearing the Tokyo 2020 Games will be postponed until 2021.

“Everything has been geared towards that race. I’d envisioned a very different 2021, but given the current situation in the world, it is the right call, and sport and prioritising training at the moment feels trivial.”

Duffy added she was “sending my thoughts to anyone Covid-19 positive. And encouraging everyone else to stay inside and do your part to stop the spread”.

Organisers came under pressure to postpone the games after Australia and Canada pulled out on Monday because of the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

The Olympics have never been delayed in their 124-year modern history, but were cancelled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 because of the two world wars.

Duffy was ruled out for eight months last season because of a career-threatening foot injury before she made a return to competitive action and won a fifth Xterra world title in Kapalua, Hawaii, last October.

The two-times world champion was confident she could carry her strong form into the new campaign but now faces an uncertain year, with the opening two races of the ITU World Triathlon Series, Abu Dhabi and Bermuda, both postponed indefinitely as a result of the pandemic.

Duffy had stitches removed from her hand last week after she snapped a fifth metacarpal in swimming training earlier this month.