Non Stanford: Cannot wait to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games
World champion Non Stanford says she is devastated to miss this weekend’s ITU World Triathlon Series event in London due to injury but remains focused on competing for Wales at the Commonwealth Games.
Stanford made history last year in London when she became the first woman to win the World Triathlon Series the year after claiming the U23 title.
But a foot injury sustained during the Trafford 10k race in March forced her to miss the first four events this season including this weekend’s London meeting.
The 25-year-old admitted she is not yet firing on all cylinders, but is optimistic about returning to competitive action next month in preparation for August’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
“I’m really hoping to be at the European Championships towards the end of next month but we’re just taking it each day as it comes at the minute.”
“It’s ruled me out for the first half of the season and it really has been a massive step back for me,” Stanford told skysports.com.
“I had to spend a long time in a boot and on crutches and I’ve only just started back running. When you’re within touching distance and you’re just not quite ready it’s really frustrating.
“I’ve just got to keep my head up and keep working away and hopefully I will be on that start line raring to go in Glasgow.
“I’m hoping to get a few races in before then. I’m really hoping to be at the European Championships towards the end of next month but we’re just taking it each day as it comes at the minute.
“One of the things that really kept me going over the last few months was racing in front of a home crowd in London where I raced so well last year.
“Without a doubt that was the highlight of my career, nothing else comes close. You can’t ask for any more than becoming world champion on home soil in front of all your friends and family.
“It was definitely special and I think now I can really appreciate it. At the time I took it in my stride but now that I can’t actually race you look back and realise how special it actually was and how much you have to enjoy those victories when they come.
“We tried really hard to get me to that start line and I was really looking forward to going back there and hopefully having another great race but it’s not meant to be.
“There are always ups and downs and everyone has to endure a tough year in sport. It just means that when it does all finally come together the rewards will be much sweeter.”
“It’s part and parcel of what we do. There are always ups and downs and everyone has to endure a tough year in sport. It just means that when it does all finally come together the rewards will be much sweeter.”
Stanford revealed she cannot wait to represent Wales in this summer’s Commonwealth Games and could also feature in the 5000m.
“The Commonwealth Games has been on my radar since well before the Olympics. It’s my first memory of a large international Games,” she said.
“In triathlon you only have one chance every four years to represent Wales and that’s at the Commonwealth Games. It will be really special. Standing on that line to represent Wales is something I’ve always dreamed of.
“If I could get a Commonwealth Games medal I’d be absolutely over the moon especially after such a testing few months.”
“I’d love to be able to compete on the track as well. We’ve looked at the scheduling and it would probably be more plausible that I race the 5k rather than the 10k.
“But because of my injury status the main aim will be just to get to the triathlon start line in one piece and if I make the track it will be an added bonus because I would absolutely love to walk out into that stadium and experience the atmosphere in there as well.
“I couldn’t have too many expectations (if I raced in the 5000m) because I’d be racing against some of the Kenyans and a lot of other top athletes who are some of the fastest 5k runners in the world.
“Hopefully I can get in there, get in the mix and race smart and come out with the best result I possibly can.”