Flora Duffy has all but secured qualification for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio.
Duffy is ranked twelfth in the ITU Olympic qualification list after a series of superb performances over the past two years, finishing seventh overall in the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Series.
Considering she is almost guaranteed to be among the 55 elite women on the start line in Rio, Duffy said it was a huge relief to be able to prepare for her third Olympics without the burden of chasing qualification points.
It is a far cry from Duffy’s build-up to London 2012, when she sat in 47th position with three races remaining before the qualification deadline.
“Should the Olympics be tomorrow I would be on the start list, so that takes the pressure off,” she said.
“It’s huge for my preparation because it means I don’t need to be in top form by March, I can wait until August and have a slower build-up. That’s always better because you risk injury and illness if you’re pushing to get fit and travelling a lot to races to chase points.”