Helen Jenkins: Triathlete skips European Games to 'aid Rio bid'

Helen Jenkins
Helen Jenkins was crowned world champion in 2008 and 2011

Triathlete Helen Jenkins says she withdrew from the European Games in order to aid her hopes of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Welsh athlete, 31, will miss the event in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 12-28 June because of an ankle injury.

With qualification for Rio 2016 the priority, the two-time world champion did not want to risk further injury.

"It's best for me to get the training in and really focus on our selection races," she told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

Jenkins added: "It's really hard seeing everyone racing.

"But having injuries over the last few years, I'm kind of fed up of just turning up to races and not being prepared and not having got all the training done."

Wales' proud triathlon record
Helen Jenkins, the 2008 and 2011 champion, is one of three Welsh women to win the World Triathlon title. Leanda Cave claimed the title in 2002 and Non Stanford was victorious at the first attempt in 2013.

Team GB will take 160 athletes to Azerbaijan for the inaugural European Games.

The team will compete across 13 sports and 19 disciplines during the 17 days of competition in Baku.

But Jenkins, who missed much of 2013 and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with a foot injury, added: "It was a decision to pull out rather than go there and be at 50 or 60%."

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