HAMILTON, Bermuda, (CMC) – Bermuda’s Olympic champion Dame Flora Duffy says she is “thrilled” after receiving a wildcard to compete in next month’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship in the United State, according to the Bernews website.
Duffy’s hopes of qualifying for the showpiece final in St George, Utah looked to be over when she was unable to race at the Subaru Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant in June after her bike failed to arrive in Montreal, Canada from Denver, Colorado.
The race was Duffy’s final chance to clinch one of three qualifying slots for the final on October 28.
Competing at the 70.3 Worlds has proved elusive for Duffy, 34, who missed events in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 2018 and Nice, France, the following year because of injury.
The race in 2020, for which Duffy had qualified, was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was eligible to compete last year in St George, Utah, but opted out because of exhaustion after winning the women’s triathlon gold medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Bernews said.
“St George bound!” Duffy, whose training base is in Boulder, Colorado, said in a social media post.
“Officially received an invitation from Ironman as a wildcard. Thank you for the opportunity @ironmantri – I really appreciate it and will do my best to add to the excitement of the women’s race.
“Truth is, I have been trying to get to the 70.3 Worlds for a few years now. I am really thrilled to get to finally start.”
In July, Duffy, who has twice had COVID this year, retained her Commonwealth Games title when she stormed to victory in Birmingham, England, where she repeated her Tokyo victory over England’s Georgia Taylor-Brown.
Earlier that month, Duffy overcame a 10-second penalty to storm to a thrilling victory in the World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) race in Hamburg, Germany. She currently stands second in the standings behind Taylor-Brown and is bidding for a record fourth world title.
The next WTCS race is in Cagliari on the Italian island of Sardinia next month, followed by Bermuda in early November and the final in Abu Dhabi later that month.