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Flora Duffy wins Bermuda's first Olympic gold

July 27, 2021

The Island nation of Bermuda won its first-ever Olympic gold medal as Flora Duffy emerged victorious in the women's triathlon. She finished more than a minute ahead of her rivals on a stormy course.

Flora Duffy waves a Bermudan flag after her victory. July 27, 2021.
Bermuda was one of around 70 countries never to have won Olympic gold, until TuesdayImage: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa/picture alliance

Bermuda's Flora Duffy won the Olympic women's triathlon in Tokyo on Tuesday, bagging the country's first ever Olympic gold medal and its first medal of any kind since 1976. 

The 33-year-old endurance athlete finished the punishing long-distance swim, bike ride and run quicker than the competition.  She was among a group of seven others who broke away from the pack at the start of the 40-kilometer cycling leg, but powered clear by herself in the 10-kilometer run. 

Duffy finished more than a minute ahead of Britain's Georgia Taylor-Brown, who won the silver and America's Katie Zaferes, who took the bronze.

Duffy's victory makes Bermuda the smallest nation in terms of population — less than 70,000 people — to ever win a medal at a Summer Games. 

Flora Duffy of Bermuda holds her gold medal during a medal ceremony for the women's individual triathlon competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Duffy won gold at her fourth Olympic attempt in TokyoImage: Charlie Riedel/AP Photo/picture alliance

Fourth time's the charm

Duffy has been among the world's elite women triathletes for years, winning multiple world championships, but she had not won a medal at the Olympics in her previous three attempts, despite being considered one of the favorites four years ago in Rio.

Boxer Clarence Hill was Bermuda's only previous Olympic medalist, after winning a bronze in 1976.

Duffy said she hoped it would inspire other athletes in Bermuda to take take on the world.

"We are a small country but are very concentrated on sport," she said. "I'm so grateful to achieve a personal thing but its bigger than me and that's a cool moment. It will inspire the youth of Bermuda and show that competing on the world stage from a small island is really possible.

Bermuda Premier David Burt took to Twitter to congratulate Duffy,

"You've worked so hard and you've made an entire island proud!" he said. 

dvv/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)