Speechless Stanford claims being a world champion is 'crazy'
September 14, 2013 14:02 pm
Non Stanford claims she is not normally lost for words - though she was left speechless after claiming the women's world triathlon title in London.
Stanford - who broke her arm nearly two months ago - came into the final race of the season ranked third in the world and stormed to victory to become the third British woman to win the world title in the last 12 years.
Main rivals Gwen Jorgensen and Anne Haug had races to forget, the former crashing on the bike leg and retiring and the latter never getting going after finishing the swim two minutes off the pace.
But that should not deflect from Stanford's achievement and a season that has seen her claim two golds and three silvers from her six world series races - consistency that deserves champion status.
"Being the world champion, it's crazy, it hasn't really sunk in yet," said 24-year old Stanford, after crossing the line in two hours, one minute and 31 seconds.
"I'm just trying to take it my stride, but when I get five minutes to reflect on it I will probably get quite emotional. I just can't believe it to be honest, I can't quite put it into words.
"All the hard work over the last year, I've just managed to hold it together and it's paid off."
Stanford, who is part of the Brownlee brothers training group in Yorkshire, entered the run transition ahead and stayed there, piling the pressure on her rivals and opening up a clear advantage as she looked to win in style.
However, she still had to serve a 15 second penalty for contravening equipment rules in the transition between the swim and bike legs.
She served that penalty with three kilometres remaining and reentered the race with her commanding lead intact, crossing the line more than 20 seconds ahead of Ireland's Aileen Reid and Australia's Emma Moffatt.
British team-mate Jodie Stimpson finished fourth to end the season second in the world rankings.
"I went out really hard in the run to get a gap and never wanted to give them a chance to reel me back in. I just wanted to stay ahead of them before I had to serve my penalty," added Stanford.
"It felt never ending in that penalty box, I just got out there as quickly as possible.
"It was so cold and I couldn't feel my feet, the crowd support was great and I couldn't hear myself breathe, which was good because I was breathing really heavy.
"To stand on the podium with a fellow Brit was great and there was no better way to do it. Hopefully the Alistair and Jonathan (Brownlee) will do the same in the men's race and it will be a perfect weekend for British triathlon."
As well as earning her the world championship silver, Stimpson’s fourth place was also enough to meet the English selection criteria for next year’s Commonwealth Games, while Stanford looks a lock to be part of the Welsh team in Glasgow.
“To finish second in the series, I wouldn’t have said that at the start of the year, so yes, that’s awesome," said Stimpson.
"That’s qualified me for the Commonwealth Games so to get fourth that’s brilliant, I’ve done it and I can concentrate and have a solid winter now.”
© Sportsbeat 2013