Glasgow 2014: Helen Jenkins expects Stanford to return stronger

Helen Jenkins believes Non Stanford will return from her injury lay-off stronger than ever before.

Reigning world champion Stanford, 25, recently withdrew from Wales' triathlon team for the Commonwealth Games because of a stress fracture to her left ankle.

That leaves 2008 and 2011 world champion Jenkins, 30, as the main Welsh medal hope in the sport in Glasgow.

Non Stanford factfile

  • Date of birth: 8 January, 1989
  • From: Swansea
  • 2012 Auckland U23 Triathlon: Gold
  • 2013 ITU series: Gold

"It's a real shame... maybe it would have been nice to have the pressure shared between us," said Jenkins.

"If you're looking at the medals to win for Wales then we would have had two good medal shots with the both of us there and racing well.

"I've had injuries before that have taken me out for a long time so I know how Non feels and I have sympathy for her.

"[But] you come back from these things stronger and I'm sure she will."

Welsh triathlon star Non Stanford

Non Stanford says the hardest part of missing the Commonwealth Games through injury, was telling her friends and family.

Stanford claimed the ITU world title in her first season as a senior competitor in 2013, having won the under-23 title in 2012.

She and Jenkins were expected to spearhead a strong Welsh challenge in Glasgow.

Stanford's emergence in 2013 coincided with Jenkins missing the whole of the season with an injury related to a lower back problem. 

Her return to the circuit this season has seen Jenkins recapture some of her previous form. She lies second in the ITU series rankings to American Gwen Jorgensen  after five races.

However, Jenkins says she is prioritising the Commonwealth Games over the world championship.

Helen Jenkins factfile

  • Date of birth: 8 March, 1984
  • From: Bridgend
  • 2008 ITU Series: Gold
  • 2011 ITU series: Gold

Stanford's place in the team has been taken by Carol Bridge, a 29-year-old accident and emergency nurse who competes for Rhondda Tri club.

However, Jenkins says Stanford has to concentrate on her rehabilitation.

"No one is trying to replace her [in the Wales team]," added Jenkins.

"Non will focus on getting back for the races towards the end of this year or after.

"And these are the kind of things when these injuries happen that drive you and they do make you come back stronger."