1. Duffy holds the key. Two-time ITU world champion Bermudan Flora Duffy, who hadn’t raced at this level for over a year because of injury, provided a timely reminder of how she dictates women’s triathlon racing. A case in point is that as one of the best swimmers and the strongest cyclist, Duffy’s presence means the Olympic race is likely to be decided by a breakaway – even on a flat course such as Tokyo. The only caveat to this is Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig, who races sparingly, but can perhaps match Duffy’s power on two wheels, and has the potential to bring a chase pack back into contention. The Spirig factor aside, the knock-on consequence for selectors, not least the British, must be a further leaning towards triathletes who can make the front pack.
2. British qualification is no clearer. Despite the criteria for Olympic qualification being incredibly tough – primarily podiums in both the Yokohama World Series and Tokyo test event – there was still potential for it to sort out a couple of spots. But with no top three finishes in Yokohama, none on the men’s side in Tokyo, and the disrupted format in the women’s race, nothing, as yet, has been confirmed. On one hand it shows the strength in depth, particularly on the women’s side, but the risk becomes that competing triathletes have to peak twice in 2020, first for a further attempt to qualify and then the Games themselves. And as history has shown, that is not an easy task.