Bermuda secures first Olympic gold, British triathlete reveals injury

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Flora Duffy of Team Bermuda celebrates as she approaches the finish line to win the gold medal during the women's individual triathlon competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Flora Duffy of Team Bermuda celebrates as she approaches the finish line to win the gold medal during the women's individual triathlon competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Bermuda’s Flora Duffy has claimed the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal, comfortably winning the women’s triathlon on Tuesday.

With nine world titles to her name already, the 33-year-old Duffy powered away in the early stages the 10km run, crossing the line with a time of 1 hour 55 minutes 36 seconds.

Duffy led the entire run, finishing more than a minute ahead of her rivals.

“It feels incredible. I mean, of course it makes all the injuries, hard times and the tears completely worth it,” she said. “This last extra year it’s been quite challenging. And definitely I had pressure mounting.

“I am so thrilled I could execute, and yeah, I achieved my dream of winning a gold medal, but also winning Bermuda’s first gold medal.

“It’s bigger than me and that’s a really cool moment.”

Duffy is the second Bermudan athlete to win an Olympic medal of any kind, after heavyweight boxer Clarence Hill won bronze at Montreal in 1976.

Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown, 27, overcame a flat tyre during the final stages of the bike leg to claim silver, 74 seconds behind.

Taylor-Brown revealed after the race she had been on crutches 12 weeks ago after a stress response in her femur.

She had to go through a test to prove her fitness a week before flying to Tokyo, Britain’s PA agency reported.

“I wanted to keep it private. You don’t want to show your competitors your weaknesses, and so I did just say I was ill.”

She said she had six weeks of building her running back again.

“It’s not perfect, it’s not what I wanted. It’s not what anyone would want but I think I got myself into a really good position and I was as fit as I could have been on that start line today with the circumstances that I faced.”

Taylor-Brown said she panicked when her tyre burst during the final 2 kilometres of the race.

“I didn’t know what to do so I just rode on the flat,” she said.

“I lost maybe 15 seconds on the group. The first lap of the run was panic mode. I think I definitely paid for it the latter part of the run but it paid off.”

US triathlete Katie Zaferes, 32, took bronze.

The triathlon was delayed 15 minutes due to weather conditions, with heavy rain easing during the race. Following a 1.5-kilometre swim the athletes tackled a 40km cycle and 10km run.

The triathlon mixed relay event will make its Olympic Games debut on Saturday. Teams of two men and two women will individually complete a 300m swim, 6.8-kilometre cycle and a 2km run before tagging the next athlete.

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