Sport

Duffy and Butterfield to ‘double up’

  • Intriguing move: Duffy will compete in the individual triathlon, mixed relay and mountain bike on the Gold Coast

Flora Duffy and Tyler Butterfield will “double up” at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia, in April by competing in two different sports.

Duffy, a medal favourite in the women’s triathlon, will make the natural crossover into the mountain bike, as a four-times Xterra world champion, while Butterfield will compete in the men’s triathlon and the marathon.

They will join teenage triathletes Tyler Smith and Erica Hawley, who have also qualified for the individual races, in the mixed relay, which has switched from an Olympic to a sprint distance.

Bermuda’s eight-strong squad also includes 200 metres sprinters Tre Houston and Kyle Webb, long jumper Tyrone Smith, and squash player Micah Franklin.

Katura Horton-Perinchief, who represented Bermuda in diving at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, will serve as the chef de mission.

Stan Douglas, the Bermuda Olympic Association secretary-general, believes all of the athletes are well-equipped to represent Bermuda on the world stage.

“The standards committee vetted the athletes very closely,” Douglas said. “We’re not saying all of the athletes have medal potential, but we feel they will represent the country well enough to give us a good face at the Games. Those athletes selected were selected on merit.”

Douglas said that Duffy’s decision to branch out into the mountain bike was an intriguing move, considering she is regarded as one of the top cyclists in women’s triathlon and has plenty of off-road experience in Xterra.

The Games will be Duffy’s third Commonwealth Games, having finished eighth in both Melbourne in 2006 and Glasgow in 2014.

“It’s about giving an opportunity to athletes with a proven pedigree to express themselves athletically,” Douglas said. “All four of our triathletes will do the team event, which is new for us, and all four qualified in their own right.”

Bermuda first competed in the Commonwealth Games 1930 in Hamilton, Canada. The island’s first medal came at the 1966 Games in Kingston, Jamaica, when John Morbey won silver in the long jump. Clarence “Nicky” Saunders won Bermuda’s first gold in the high jump in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1990. The Games will run from April 4 to 15 and will be the most integrated Games in history, featuring 18 sports and seven para sports, as well as an equal number of medals for men and women.