Dame Flora Duffy can’t seem to buy a break so far in 2022, but despite all the challenges, she was still able to take her 13th WTCS win in Hamburg on the weekend. Thanks to a 10-second penalty for not leaving her goggles in her equipment bin in transition almost cost her the race, but the Olympic champion stormed past one of the sport’s premier runners, Beth Potter, with 300 m to spare to take the win at the World Triathlon Championship Series Hamburg.
RT worldtriathlon: 🔊Olympic and World Champion @floraduffy finds another gear 💨💨 to win #WTCSHamburg after serving her first-ever 10-second ⌛ penalty in a race! Could we see Flora Duffy 🇧🇲 earn a fourth World #Triathlon title this season?
— Olympic Triathlon 2020 (@olympictri2020) July 9, 2022
Duffy has had more than a few challenges this year. She’s suffered from two bouts of COVID, the second of which came the day before she was to compete at Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga. The she was forced to pull out of Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant when her bike didn’t make it on the plane from Denver to Montreal.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Duffy said after the race when asked about the penalty. “I came into T2 and I saw that my goggles were out of the little box and I thought, oh dear! That really flustered me and I took forever to get my shoes on out of T2 and then Dan, my husband, shouted at me ’10-second penalty’ and I thought, wow Flora, you’re really making it hard for yourself today. I’ve never had a penalty, It’s like now I am making all these mistakes, I’ve got slow transitions, I’m getting penalties. I guess I am trying to make it interesting for myself and make it super hard to win. Dan shouted at me to take it after the first lap, I think to just have a 10-second reset and then to charge it for the last lap but honestly, I thought I was going to come out of that penalty further back in the top ten, but I was pretty happy that I was still in second. All I had to do was chase down Beth.”
“I haven’t been pushed like that on the run,” the defending world champion said. “I was like this cannot come down to a sprint finish, so I just tried to lengthen it, but I gave everything out there. Super pumped to take the win after this year, it started off so weird, two times COVID, flying to races and my equipment not making it, so I am pumped to win, pumped to get myself back in the Series and I am excited for the rest of the year.”
After a bronze-medal finish in Montreal, Potter moved up a spot on the podium for the silver in Hamburg, her best WTCS finish. After an early breakaway group on the bike was caught, the race turned into a 5 km running race for the medals.
“I was a bit sloppy today in some things, I felt a bit tired coming into this, but it was a nervous two and a half kilometres knowing she (Flora Duffy) was coming,” Potter said. “I just tried to keep my cool in the last little bit. Coming into the season, I wanted to consistently be in the top five and in my last races I’ve done that so just need to consolidate on that.”
Third place in the race went to Germany’s Lisa Tertsch, who out sprinted American Taylor Spivey and countrywoman Laura Lindemann for the last spot on the podium.
You can find full results from the race here.