Kirsten Kasper hailed Flora Duffy as “a great role model” before the ITU World Triathlon Series heads to Yokohama, Japan, tonight.
Duffy competes for the first time since a glorious homecoming at MS Amlin WTS Bermuda two weeks ago, but is only seventh in the overall standings after crashing out of the opening race in Abu Dhabi three weeks ago, with Kasper the overall leader.
However, the American knows who the woman to beat is and Bermuda’s two-times reigning world champion will be the hot favourite in Japan after a stunning victory in Hamilton in which as Duffy became the first woman to complete the course as the fastest in every discipline.
“Flora is a great role model for all of us,” Kasper said. “She has set the bar really high, and we will all try to beat her on one race.
“I had a very good start of the season and I plan to keep on this way.”
Yuka Sato will be the local hero in Japan and is fourth overall in the women’s standings.
“This season I’ve raced in Bermuda, where I finished seventh, and Abu Dhabi, where I was eighth,” she said. “Last year I was not able to perform like this, so I’m really excited and proud of what I’m achieving.
“Last year my goal was to improve my bike and running skills, and I’m still practising and trying to get better in each race.”