Sensational Stanford claims world triathlon title in London

14 September 2013 / 10:42

Great Britain's Non Stanford secured the women's world triathlon title as dramatic events conspired in her favour in London.

Stanford, the under-23 world champion, wasn't even considered for last year's Olympic team and broke her arm just a few weeks ago but this time luck was certainly on her side.

Just 12 points separated the top three in the world rankings at the start of the final race of the season, with third placed Stanford 12 points behind series leader Gwen Jorgensen and four behind Germany's Anne Haug.

But Haug had a nightmare swim, losing two minutes on her rivals, and American race favourite Jorgensen crashed during the opening stages of the bike leg and retired.

Those cruel twists of fate put the race at Stanford's mercy, especially considering the 24-year old has underlined her reputation as one of the best runners on the world triathlon circuit this season.

And she duly won the race in two hours, one minute and 31 seconds to become the third British woman to win the world title in the last 12 years, following fellow Welsh athletes Helen Jenkins, a two-time winner, and Leanda Cave.

"I'm speechless. I haven't slept for about three weeks. I can't believe I've pulled it off," she said.

Stanford started the run knowing a top two finish would be enough while finishing third and fourth would also secure the title, if team-mate Jodie Stimpson - fourth in the world rankings before the race - didn't win.

But still had to serve a 15 second penalty for contravening equipment rules in the transition between the swim and bike legs.

Stanford - who is part of the Brownlee brothers training group in Yorkshire - entered the run transition ahead and piled the pressure on her rivals, opening up a clear advantage as she looked to win in style.

She served her penalty with three kilometres remaining and still reentered the race with a commanding lead, crossing the line more than 20 seconds ahead of Ireland's Aileen Reid and Australia's Emma Moffatt in second and third.

Stimpson also produced a storming run, finishing fourth to conclude her season with the overall world silver medal.

Like Stanford, she has enjoyed a breakthrough season - starting the year without a world series podium to her name but finishing it with one gold, three bronzes and ranked second in the world.

© Sportsbeat 2013