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Flora Duffy makes gorgeous return to aggressive motion – The Royal Gazette

Up to date: Could 11, 2024 03:09 AM

Dame Flora Duffy took seventh place at WCTS Yokohama in her first race after 18 months out injured

Dame Flora Duffy made a surprising return from 18 months out injured by ending seventh on the World Championship Triathlon Collection occasion in Yokohama, Japan, final night time.

The Olympic champion, who questioned whether or not she would ever race once more after a patella tendon grievance that simply wouldn’t go away, accomplished the 1.5-kilometre swim, 40km bike and 10km run in 1hr 53min 38sec to most emphatically blow away any doubts that she might go once more on the highest stage.

Duffy was again to her dominant self for the second half of the swim, regardless of not beginning in a seeded place, and was within the lead group in the course of the bike earlier than noticeably easing again on the run as she plots returning to her peak earlier than the Olympic Video games in Paris on July 31.

Prime honours went to Frenchwoman Leonie Periault, who blitzed the sphere on the run to cross the road nicely clear in 1:52:28 for her first win at this stage.

Second was Taylor Knibb, of america, in 1:53:04 and Emma Lombardi, of France, third in 1:53:08.

The race, which opened the WTCS season after Abu Dhabi was postponed, introduced with it quite a few storylines — none extra compelling than how the Bermudian would fare after so lengthy out of motion.

Duffy final raced in November 2022 when capturing her fourth world title, however her preparations for Olympic 12 months have been beset by one setback after the opposite — to the extent that for a second she contemplated retirement.

The worldwide triathlon group know higher than to put in writing Duffy off at their peril.

After beginning in a deprived place on the swim, the 36-year-old surrendered 18 seconds to the lead swimmer after the primary of two laps. However by the tip she had greater than made up the stagger, climbing out of the water sixth after 18min 21sec of her first racing because the Abu Dhabi Grand Closing.

With the leaders in her sights, it was no shock that Duffy attacked the nine-leg cycle course with vigour. She was a part of a 16-strong breakaway group that quickly turned 12 as she, Laura Lindemann, of Germany, Maya Kingman, of the Netherlands, and the 29-year-old Periault pushed the tempo.

But it surely was on the run the place Duffy’s total health would obtain its biggest take a look at, her repaired knee the topic of a lot hypothesis and media curiosity.

Virtually instantly, she throttled and ran at a good tempo to clock 34:12, thirteenth-fastest out of the 60-woman discipline.

For Periault, a spot on the rostrum would affirm for her a spot on the Olympics, and she or he left little question with a dominant efficiency on the run course. Her time of 33:02 for the 10km was bettered by solely two girls, one being Gwen Jorgensen, Duffy’s gold medal-winning predecessor from the 2016 Video games in Rio de Janeiro.

The American left the Olympic distance after Rio to pursue longer occasions, and was all the time going to be up towards it on the swim and significantly the bike. However when she dominated the game earlier than Duffy took over in 2018, it was the run the place she was peerless. And in Yokohama, 32:56 for 10km was second-best within the discipline and adequate to get her right into a closing putting of fifteenth.

Closing outcomes

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