Non Stanford: Welsh triathlete refocused after World Cup win

Non Stanford
Non Stanford was Under-23 World Champion in 2012 before becoming senior champion a year later
World Triathlon Series on the BBC
Venue: Yokohama, Japan Date: Saturday, 13 May Time: Women's race 02:06 BST
Coverage: Watch live on Red Button, Connected TVs, online and BBC Sport app
Highlights: Watch on BBC Two on Sunday from 13:00-14:30 BST

Welsh triathlete Non Stanford is confident she can make the most of her first ever World Cup win following a winter disrupted by injury.

The 28-year-old won the Chengdu event in China and will now compete in her first World Series triathlon of the season in Yokohama, Japan on Saturday.

"For me the weekend was about getting back into racing and refocusing more than the victory itself," she said.

"Winning gives me a bit more confidence going into the World Series."

Saturday's event is raced over an Olympic distance which includes a 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run - four times the distance of the race in Chengdu.

The 2013 world champion will compete alongside fellow Briton Vicky Holland, who pipped her to Olympic bronze in Rio, and 2016 world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda, who are also competing in the World Series for the first time this season after overcoming injuries.

"The level at the World Series is that much higher than the World Cup," said Stanford.

"The field is pretty stacked and that's exciting that you go out there and actually get to test yourself against the best that triathlon has to offer.

"It's definitely going to be hard and not as easy as it was at the weekend. I don't think the victory will come quite as smoothly.

"I just want to go out there and do an Olympic distance, see where I'm at and what we have to work on for the rest of the season."

Non Stanford
Stanford is determined to compete for Wales at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia

The Chengdu event consisted of two events held over two days and Stanford, who had not raced on the World Cup circuit since 2011, did not expect victory.

"The format of the race was unusual and I wasn't sure at all how I would do. You could have finished first or last in that situation.

"I made some smart decisions whilst I was racing. I stayed quite calm which is important in that sort of race which is so fast.

"It's very quick decisions in the heat of the moment and I managed to make good decisions at the right time and that helped me to the top of the podium."

Swansea-born Stanford, who finished fourth at last summer's Olympic Games in Rio, has endured a difficult few months.

"I got a small tear in my Achilles back in November and recovery from that hasn't been straightforward," Stanford told BBC Wales Sport.

"I didn't do any proper running until end of February, so it hasn't been smooth at all. It hasn't been my best winter of training and that's why I really surprised myself at the weekend."

Stanford missed out on the 2014 Commonwealth Games through injury and has her sights set on the Games at the Gold Coast next April.

"The main aim for this season is to make sure I confirm my selection for the Commonwealth Games next year," Stanford said.

"I was absolutely devastated to miss out on the Commonwealth Games in 2014. To sit on the sidelines and watch was pretty tough.

"It's been a lifelong ambition of mine to represent Wales at the Commonwealths.

"It definitely came onto my radar before the Olympic Games ever did.

"It will be a special moment to put on the Welsh kit and get the flag flying for us."

Sign up to My Sport to follow triathlon news and reports on the BBC app

Top Stories