The women woke up to a Tokyo typhoon the following morning, and took to the pontoon ready to face down the testing conditions to chase their Olympic dreams. Britain’s Jessica Learmonth led the way through the water with teammate Georgia Taylor-Brown and USA’s Katie Zaferes for company, Flora Duffy delivering a brilliant swim to ensure she made the front pack of seven out onto the bike course.
The slick surface made the 40km bike a huge test of concentration and skill, and while several came off further behind, the leaders were able to safely carve their way through it and out to the run, only a late puncture for Taylor-Brown upsetting her rhythm. Duffy seized the moment and put the hammer straight down, never letting up the pace for the full 10km to land the Olympic Gold she and the whole of Bermuda craved, and with the kind of dominant performance we have come to know and love. Taylor-Brown bounced back bravely over the final lap to win silver, and USA’s Zaferes took a fine bronze.
“A lot of emotions came up down that final straight,” Duffy told the World Triathlon Podcast. “Everything from the past few years, the pressure and expectation of being Bermuda’s only medal hope is quite something to manage. All of that and knowing that on the one day that mattered I executed one of my best race performances was really special and I was thrilled for Taylor-Brown and Zaferes.”