Flora Duffy said the rest she had at the start of the ITU World Triathlon Series when she was injured has helped in her quest to retain her title as she prepares for tomorrow’s race in Hamburg.
The Bermudian also told media in the German city that her long-term goal is to improve her running for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
The 29-year-old is pleased with her performances to start the season. She missed the first two races of the season with injury, but bounced back to win in Yokohama, Japan, in May and Leeds, England last month.
“I am very happy,” Duffy said. “The start of the season was not very good for me, as I had a pretty bad injury and I had to pull out from Abu Dhabi [in March] and Gold Coast [in April], so I was not very sure before Yokohama, but I think the extra rest actually helped me.
“I won my first two races, in Yokohama and Leeds, but I still have a lot to catch up the others.
“I had a [hip] injury at the beginning of the season, so I guess that my running was improving until then but I went too far. There are some really good runners on the circuit, like Gwen Jorgensen, so I thought I needed to improve mine a bit.
“It’s a long term plan, to improve my running for Tokyo 2020. Hamburg is usually a pretty fast course when it comes to the running, so we’ll see on Saturday so he race comes.”
Duffy said that last season was the best of her career.
“I think it will be pretty hard to top last year,” she said. “Throughout the year I just kept doing one race after the other, and then I found myself in Cozumel, on the Grand Final, winning and winning the world title. It was incredible”.
Duffy now faces the pressure of being favourite in Hamburg, if not for the overall series.
“Being the favourite definitely adds pressure and expectation on you, you have a few more obligations before the race, like coming to the press conference or doing some interviews, but it’s all about managing that,” she said. “It is a privilege to be here and to be one of the favourites for the race, I really enjoy it, it’s part of the process.”
The Bermudian is focusing on the WTS, but is also enjoying competing in the cross triathlon world championships.
“Both events complement each other, but at this moment my focus is 100 per cent on ITU and ITU races,” Duffy said. “It’s a bit tricky to race both events, makes my season a bit longer, but at the same time for me is fun, it’s different and it helps me to keep fresher and happier on the sport.”
Duffy is counting on a solid, all-round performance if she is to succeed tomorrow.
“Of course I’d love to win, but lots of the girls here have the same goal and expectations. I need to do the all three legs really well.
“It will be great to win but if I could get on the podium will also help my chances on the overall ranking, as well as a top-ten finish.”