Glasgow 2014: Non Stanford questions Leanda Cave omission

By Aled WilliamsBBC Wales Sport
Non Stanford
Non Stanford is a senior and Under-23 World triathlon champion
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Dates: 23 July - 3 AugustCoverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, BBC Radio 5 live, Red Button, Connected TVs, online, tablets and mobiles

World champion Non Stanford has questioned the decision of Welsh Triathlon selectors not to pick Leanda Cave for the Commonwealth Games.

Stanford and Helen Jenkins were selected ahead of 2002 silver medallist Cave but both have since been ruled out with injury.

Cave criticised triathlon selectors for failing to have a back-up plan.

"I think it's a bit of a kick in the teeth for her when she wasn't initially put forward," Stanford said.

"Wales definitely missed an opportunity there because she was also willing to act in a support role for Helen and myself."

Holly Lawrence was also selected for Wales' triathlon team alongside Stanford and Jenkins.

Leanda Cave
Leanda Cave is a double Ironman world champion

Welsh Triathlon say they nominated athletes for the Games based on criteria laid down by the Wales Commonwealth Games council.

Stanford will miss the Games because of a stress fracture in her left ankle, while Jenkins has been ruled out after suffering a foot injury.

Carol Bridge, a 29-year-old accident and emergency nurse, replaced Stanford but Welsh selectors decided against calling up a replacement for double world champion Jenkins, with former World triathlon champion Cave, a double Ironman world champion, not considered.

Wales will not be represented in the women's individual triathlon, which takes place on the opening day of competition in Glasgow on Thursday, but the team will be in action in the super sprint relay on Saturday.

"I knew that she wouldn't be selected once Helen and me were out because her name was never put forward to the Commonwealth committee," Stanford said in her BBC Wales Sport column.

"I've spoken to the [Welsh Triathlon] selectors and they have their reasons for not selecting Leanda but they won't disclose what those reasons are, so I'm still in the dark as much as anybody.

"I do feel sorry for Leanda because I think it's a kick in the teeth and a bit of an insult, but you have to put your faith in the selectors.

"The selectors say they have their reasons and you have to trust in their decisions."

Will Thomas, Director of Performance at Welsh Triathlon, defended the selection policy saying that the Welsh Commonwealth Games council criteria stipulated that they should select athletes with a genuine medal chance.

"Non and Helen were both automatic selections for the individual race," Thomas said.

"The aim was to try to win two medals in the individual and then select a support runner and a team to train to try and win a medal in the super sprint relay.

"We couldn't legislate for two world champions getting injured in the build-up to the games.

"Once that happened there was no [Welsh] male or female athlete who met the criteria as genuine individual medal chances.

"So we have selected and prepared a team to try to win a relay medal."

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