Wales triathlon medal hope Non Stanford to miss Glasgow 2014

First published in Sport

TRIATHLON world champion and Wales medal hope Non Stanford will miss the Commonwealth Games because of a stress fracture in her left ankle.

The 25-year-old first injured her left foot in March and was unable to defend the ITU World Championships title she won in 2013.

She has been replaced by Carol Bridge, 29, an accident and emergency nurse.

“I’m pretty devastated,” said Stanford. “I was really optimistic and everything was going really well. We had plenty of time to make sure I was ready.

“So to take a second blow so quickly has been pretty tough, but unfortunately it's part of the game that we play.

“Injuries happen to everyone and the timing has not been ideal for me. But I had such a fantastic year last year, maybe it would have been greedy of me to have another good one this year.”

Stanford was crowned Under-23 World Champion in Auckland in 2012 and year later won the world title to become only the second woman to achieve those triumphs in successive years.

Wales’ hopes for a medal in the triathlon now fall on double world champion Helen Jenkins.

After finishing fifth in the Olympic final at London 2012 with her build-up plagued by a knee injury, the Bridgend star spent more than 18 months on the sidelines with back and knee problems.

“I am just happy being back racing on the start line so I have a more relaxed attitude.

“London was so tough because I could not get the best out of myself after not getting the training in the build-up.

“I am over the disappointment now but at the time I had put so many emotions and energy into the Olympics.

“It became my life for two or three years but it did not happen.

“I felt a bit lost after that especially with the injury.

“So it’s just good to be back.”

“I do like Scotland and it’s similar to Wales because everyone is very friendly,” she added.

“I went up to Glasgow a couple of weeks ago to ride the course, which is tough.

“I like that challenge and hopefully it will benefit the Welsh.”

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