HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) – Bermudan triathlete Flora Duffy says the decision to postpone this summer’s Olympic Games for 12 months was the right call but admits it was a tough pill to swallow after battling back from injury to be fit for the showpiece.
Organisers of Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee made the decision to delay the Games on Tuesday because of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed almost 20 000 people worldwide.
Duffy, who was hoping to double Bermuda’s medal tally in Tokyo in July, said she will now have to significantly change her triathlon trajectory with the Games to be held no later than the summer of 2021, media here reported.
The 32-year-old had intended to wind down her career after the Olympics and bow out at the ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS) grand final in Bermuda in September next year, but those plans have been adjusted to accommodate her ambitions of winning an Olympic medal.
“In my little triathlon world it is a tough pill to swallow hearing the 2020 Games will be postponed until 2021,” Duffy wrote on her social media site yesterday.
“Everything has been geared towards that race, I’d envisioned a very different 2021, but given the current situation in the world, it is the right call, and sport/prioritising training at the moment feels trivial.
“Sending my thoughts to anyone COVID-19 positive and encouraging everyone else to stay inside and do your part to stop the spread.”
Organisers faced mounting pressure to call off the Games after Australia and Canada pulled out on Monday because of the acceleration of the COVID-19 virus.
The Olympics have never been delayed in their 124-year modern history, but were cancelled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 because of the two World Wars.
Duffy was ruled out for eight months last season because of a career-threatening foot injury before making a superb return to competitive action, winning a fifth Xterra world title in Kapalua, Hawaii, in October last year.
The two-time world champion was confident of carrying her strong form into the new campaign but now faces an uncertain year, with the opening two races on the WTS calendar, Abu Dhabi and Bermuda, both being postponed indefinitely because of the pandemic.Duffy had stitches removed from her hand last week after snapping a fifth metacarpal during swimming training this month.
Heavyweight boxer Clarence Hill’s bronze at the 1976 Montreal Games is Bermuda’s only Olympic medal to date.