Bermuda’s Flora Duffy won the women’s Olympic triathlon gold medal after a decisive break away from the leading group early in the run at Tokyo 2020 here today.
She finished in 1 hours 55min 36sec ahead of Great Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown, who took silver in 1:56:50, and bronze medallist Katie Zaferes of the United States in 1:57:03.
It was Bermuda’s first Olympic gold.
"To be an Olympic champion has been my dream since I was a little girl." 33-year-old Duffy said.
"Going through my head was relief, coming into an Olympics as one of the favourites.
"There was a lot of pressure and expectation.
"I guess I also knew that I was Bermuda’s first medal hope in many many years and just something I wanted to achieve for myself and also for my country.
"I was definitely overwhelmed.
"I didn’t know what to do, what to think.
"It was just a really really special moment.
"Bermuda is a small country but very passionate about its sport.
"I am just so grateful that I could achieve a personal dream here, but it’s bigger than me.
"It is going to inspire the youth of Bermuda and everyone back home that competing on the world stage from a small island is really possible."
Duffy had been part of a small leading group throughout the bike ride and surged away from Katie Zaferes of the US at the start of the run.
By the time she passed five kilometres, her advantage was already over three-quarters-of-a-minute, and she extended that to 74 seconds by the end.
Since finishing eighth at Rio 2016, Duffy had won World Championship and Commonwealth Games titles but was also plagued by injury.
The Tokyo test event in 2019 was her first race after an absence of a year.
Duffya dmitted the Olympic postponement to 2021 had worked in her favour.
"Over the last few years, I have had quite a collection of injuries," she said.
"I got an extra bonus year which I do think in a way did help me."
Taylor-Brown of Great Britain staged a remarkable comeback to claim silver after suffering a flat tyre in the last two kilometres of the bike ride.
"The puncture wasn’t ideal," Taylor-Brown said.
"I heard it literally blow, the wheel got very bumpy.
"I was right near a wheel station but decided not to stop because I would have lost more time, so I just rode on the flat."
She produced an astonishing effort to catch Zaferes on the run.
"I definitely went out quite hard on the first lap of the run, but I think it paid off because I got back in the race."
Taylor-Brown later revealed that she had a stress reaction to her femur and had faced a secret fitness test before she was allowed to compete.
Bronze medallist Zaferes had lost her father Bill in April and was only included in the US team after a meeting of the discretionary panel.
"It was a really hard time," she said.
"To have the confidence that I would be ready for today and then to be able to execute that and be on the podium.
"I am so happy that I was even given the opportunity to be here."