‘We will work together to win Rio gold’

Non Stanford crosses the finish line in Cape Town

Non Stanford was world triathlon champion in 2013

My Olympic year is off – and while I’m delighted with a confidence-boosting win at my opening race of this important season in Cape Town, I didn’t see that victory coming!

The Team GB women’s triathlon squad is now finalised for Rio and the strength of our team is such that the incredible Jodie Stimpson, who finished second to me in South Africa, didn’t even make the Olympic team.

The last couple of weeks have been tough for Jodie but for her to put that disappointment to one side and get herself on the podium in Cape Town is nothing short of inspirational.

There was always going to be one person that was going to be left heartbroken, I know Jodie is gutted and my heart goes out to her.

But I can’t commend her enough, she has conducted herself wonderfully and been so supportive towards us and the tough decision that was made last week.

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Stanford Stimpson claim GB one-two in Cape Town

So it’s fellow Welsh girl Helen Jenkins, my trusty housemate Vicky Holland and yours truly that will make up the strong team who’ll line up for Great Britain against the world’s best in Rio on August 20.

Great Britain

To put into context how strong a team we are going to Brazil, we’ve three world titles between us and a British girl has won all three of the ITU World Triathlon Series events so far this year – and we’ve also enjoyed another two podium finishes.

That’s not to mention the men’s team of the imperious Brownlee brothers, who have an Olympic gold and numerous world titles between them.

It’s great to be part of this team. The atmosphere is fantastic. We push each other on to better performances and I strongly believe in the mantra of success breeds success.

We’re pushing each other on to keep delivering the goods. Any one of us girls can take the top step on the podium at Rio.

Who knows who will be the strongest on the day? The three of us will work well together. We will work to the mutual benefit of everyone to try and deliver that medal for Great Britain – that is the aim.

100 days to go

I’m not getting caught up by the fact Wednesday marks 100 days to go until my first Olympics begins.

If you keep worrying about 100 days to go, 50 days to go etc then you get a bit excited and nervous and start to feel the pressure.

I try just to focus on the plan that we’ve got and the training that I’m doing. I know it sounds boring but I’m taking each week as it comes.

We’re not going to do anything radical to the training. If it’s worked previously, we don’t want to do anything different this year.

My coach keeps telling me that if you do an ordinary thing every day then you have an extraordinary performance at the end of it.

My run and my bike are quite strong although there’s definite improvement to be made in both if I want to be on that podium in Rio. But I think they will come naturally as I step up my training.


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Stanford dreaming of Rio success

The swim has been my focus all winter and it’s really important for me to make sure I’m a front pack swimmer, especially in Rio.

Winning start

It was a tough and physical swim in Cape Town. A British girl had won the race for the previous two years so I was happy to be able to keep that tradition going.

I loved being back out there. The first race was all about blowing out the cobwebs and going through my processes, like remembering to put the wetsuit in a box!

There’s still a lot of hard work to be done. I’m probably at 85% to 90%.

I’ve only done two or three really quality bike sessions so far – and because I tore my calf back in January, I haven’t done that much quality running yet.

There’s a lot more room for improvement considering the lack of quality training I’ve done. So watch this space!

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