Non Stanford targets 2018 Commonwealth triathlon glory

Non Stanford
Non Stanford congratulates Rio Olympics triathlon bronze medallist Vicky Holland

Triathlete Non Stanford has set her sights on the 2018 Commonwealth Games after missing out on a 2016 Olympic medal in Rio.

Stanford finished fourth in Brazil behind Great Britain team-mate and then house-mate Vicky Holland.

The 28-year-old missed out on the 2014 Commonwealth Games through injury, but is aiming for success in Australia.

"The Commonwealths is a special occasion and my priority for the next year," Stanford told BBC Wales Sport.

Stanford, the 2013 world champion, took a break following her Olympic disappointment.

"After the Games I took myself away from my Leeds environment and spent some time in Australia just to refresh myself," said Stanford.

"It was important to step away from my fantastic every day environment where I have spent the last six years engrossed.

"It's healthy for everyone to take a break.

"You spend every day with this fantastic group of people, but a couple of weeks apart has done us all good and we are ready to go again."

'Still great friends' with Holland

Holland has since switched her training base to Bath, and Stanford insists they remain great friends despite what happened in Rio when the English woman ran away to win the bronze medal.

"I was disappointed with the Games, but what happened, happened and I have to move on," said Stanford.

"We always said before and after the race our friendship came first and whatever happened on the course was just racing.

"Neither of us would have taken it personally. When it came down to the running it was every woman for herself and that's how it played out.

"Off the course we are still great friends. Vicky has left Leeds, but we talk nearly every day."

Tokyo Olympics in Stanford's sights

Stanford will begin her World Series campaign at the third event of the season in Yokohama, Japan in May as she starts the process of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast next April.

"I was disappointed to miss out in 2014 through injury at Glasgow so ever since then the Commonwealth Games has been firmly in my sights," added Stanford.

"I would just love to go there and pull on the Welsh jersey. I don't really get a chance to represent Wales because it's always Great Britain."

Stanford is also planning to try to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"The aim is to qualify for Tokyo and get myself on that start line and once again do battle for a medal," said Stanford.

"A four-year cycle is a long time and you never know what is going to happen.

"I am going to take each year as it comes, enjoy the sport and racing and hopefully the four years will roll along quickly."

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