HAMILTON, Bermuda – Bermuda’s golden girl Dame Flora Duffy has tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time in five months, the latest setback ruling her out of the Ironman 70.3 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, at the weekend, the Royal Gazette newspaper said.
“Well, my race is over before it even started,” Duffy, 34, who won the triathlon gold medal at last year’s Olympics in Tokyo, said in a social media post.
“Have been feeling slightly under the weather the last couple of days and decided I should do a COVID test to rule that out. Two positive tests later … really sad.
“I was looking forward to racing over the 70.3 distance.”
The Olympic and three-times world champion described her symptoms as mild.
“I am doing OK,” she said. “My symptoms are mild, but my team and I decided it was not worth risking medium/long-term effects.”
Duffy’s absence meant Sunday’s women’s race – won by Jackie Dering of the United States – lost some star power less than 24 hours before the start, but it still delivered an excellent battle, a race spokesman said.
Duffy, who was forced to start her pre-season training program later than originally planned after testing positive for COVID in January, had been keen to build on a third-place finish in her first appearance of the year at this month’s World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) event in Yokohama, Japan, leading up to Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 event in Tennessee.
Her appearance at the next WTCS event to be held June 11th-12th in Leeds, England, will now be in doubt.
Duffy is currently second in the WTCS standings behind the Yokohama winner, Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown.