Both current World Champions, Flora Duffy (BER) and Mario Mola (ESP) chatted with the media ahead of ITU World Triathlon Hamburg. The world best triathletes are back to one of the most popular and fan-favourite races of the season for the ninth year in a row. With the dynamic sprint course that enables on-site fans to get up and close to the action, Hamburg is always a showstopping event. here is what they think about it.
On whether last season was the best ever for her:
“Absolutely. I think it will be pretty hard to top last year. Throughout the year I just kept doing one race after the other, and then I found myself in Cozumel, on the Grand Final, winning and winning the world title. It was incredible”.
On her performance on the start of this season:
“I am very happy. The start of the season was not very good for me, as I had a pretty bad injury and I had to pull out from Abu Dhabi and Gold Coast, so I was not very sure before Yokohama, but i think the extra rest actually helped me. I won my first two races, in Yokohama and Leeds, but I still have a lot to catch up the others”.
On what she needed to improve this season after winning the World Title in 2016:
“I had an injury at the beginning of the season, si I guess that my running was improving until then but I went too far. There are some really good runners on the circuit, like Gwen Jorgensen, so I thought I needed to improve mine a bit. It’s a long term plan, to improve my running for Tokyo 2020. Hamburg is usually a pretty fast course when it comes to the running, so we’ll see on Saturday so he race comes.”
On whether she likes to be the favourite for a race:
“Being the favourite definitely adds pressure and expectation on you, you have a few more obligations before the race, like coming to the press conference or doing some interviews, but it’s all about managing that. It is a privilege to be here and to be one of the favourites for the race, I really enjoy it, it’s part of the process”.
On still competing also on the cross triathlon world championships:
“Both events complement each other, but at this moment my focus is 100% on ITU and ITU races. It’s a bit tricky to race both events, makes my season a bit longer, but at the same time for me is fun, it’s different and it helps me to keep fresher and happier on the sport”.
On her expectations for the race on Saturday:
“Of course I’d love to win, but lots of the girls here have the same goal and expectations. I need to do the all three legs really well. It will be great to win but if I could get on the podium will also help my chances on the overall ranking, as well as a top 10 finish”.
On defending his victory from last year:
“Being one of the favourites of this race means that you’ve done alright on the past, and I’ll try to manage those expectations people have on me. As an athlete you always want to win, and I’m really looking forward Saturday and see what happens on the race”
On what you need to improve for this year when you have won the Series last season:
“Our sport is all about training. We have three sports, and you always have room for improvement. When I see someone like Javier Gomez, who has won the world title five times, and he is still here fighting for another, that keeps me motivated”.
On his expectations for the weekend.
“As in any race, I’ll try to do my best. i’ve been training for three weeks and I’m in a good shape. Race is always unpredictable, but I’m looking forward to racing and see how it ends up”.
On what makes Hamburg so special.
“Hamburg is a very special race, for the course and also for the spectators. The atmosphere is fantastic, especially if you are German, but we all feel cheered and get the support of all the spectators. It’s gonna be a great weekend and a great show”.