Stanford admits surprise at world title challenge

13 September 2013 / 16:08

Non Stanford believes she's in the shape to add the senior triathlon world title to her under-23 gold in London this weekend.

Stanford is ranked third in the world coming into the final race of the season in Hyde Park tomorrow and insists she is fully recovered from breaking her arm during July's world series mixed relay triathlon in Hamburg.

The 24-year old won silver in her last race in Stockholm - despite admitting swimming with 'one arm' - but claims she is firing on all cylinders ahead of her decisive home race.

Just 13 points separate the world's top three women and Stanford has series leader Gwen Jorgensen, of the USA, and Germany's Anne Haug in her sights.

“Thankfully the arm is completely better now, which is a relief. Going into Stockholm it was quite tough and I was swimming pretty much with one arm," she said.

“I’m lucky to have a great team around me and the physio team and the coaching team got me through it. Hopefully my swim this weekend will be back to where it was before the accident.

"Twelve months ago I was under-23 world champion and just a year later to be contending for the senior world title is blowing my mind."

Stanford would be the third British woman to win the world title, following fellow Welsh athletes Helen Jenkins in 2008 and 2011 and Leanda Cave in 2002.

And it's quite an achievement considering she wasn't even considered in the mix for last year's Olympic team.

"I never dreamed that I would have this chance coming into the last race of the season," she added.

"Lots of people have been surprised by how far I've come, myself included and this chance is a great opportunity for me. 

"But whatever happens I just feel really fortunate to be within a shot of becoming world champion, not many people can say that they're in that position."

British team-mate Jodie Stimpson could also make an impact - sitting fourth in the standings after winning a gruelling race to the mountain summit in Kitzbuhel and claiming three further bronze medals this season.

"It's been a magical year," she said. 

"It was meant to be a year for learning but I don't think it could have been better. London has always been my goal. What you get from racing at home you can't really get elsewhere. The crowd just lifts you.”

© Sportsbeat 2013