Non Stanford wins London Grand Final and 2013 ITU world title
Non Stanford (GBR) raced to ITU Grand Final victory in Hyde Park despite a fifteen second penalty for not placing her Helix wetsuit in the transition box. The 24-year-old Welsh and GB star was so strong on the run that even despite the penalty she had time to saunter across the finishing line.
Non has had a stellar year with multiple podium finishes and has demonstrated a blistering run to make her one of the most respected female competitors in ITU racing. Even a broken arm following a crash in Hamburg has not stopped her. Non, Gwen Jorgensen (USA) and Anne Haug (Ger) entered the race on Saturday with just 13 points (2013 World Triathlon Series points) separating them, meaning that the world title would be decided by who crossed the line first.
Haug was struck with bad luck first as was pummeled in the swim and ended up three minutes behind the lead - effectively making it nearly impossible to rejoin the leaders. Stanford and Jorgensen, both blueseventy athletes, swam well and set themselves up with the lead pack on the bike alongside Irelands Aileen Reid, another blueseventy athlete. Jorgensen's bad luck struck next and she crashed hard on a corner by Buckingham Palace, reminiscent of her crash in the Olympic Games on this same course. London was not going to be a friendly course to Jorgensen in 2012-2013.
Stanford appeared to avoid all trouble and raced hard at the front. Unfortunately she had to serve a 15 second penalty - for not placing her wetsuit into her transition area properly - but Stanford dealt with this wisely by storming out onto the run course, developing a lead, and taking her penalty time late in the run when her lead was not affected by the penalty stop. Stanford crossed the line in 2:01:32 and became the first woman to win an elite World Triathlon Series victory one year after winning the Under 23 gold medal.
Aileen Reid had a stellar run out sprinting the rest of the chase pack to finish 2nd - she and Non made the top two spots on the podium blueseventy athletes.
Lucy Hall (GBR) piloted her Helix to first out of the water in the women's U23 race. Amelie Kretz (CAN) earned a bronze medal finish.
Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) earned a silver medal in the world junior champs race and Britain’s four talented junior boys all finished in the top 8 with Marc Austin and Grant Sheldon picking up silver and bronze.
In the Paratriathlon there was gold for Melissa Reid in the visually impaired category (Tri6b) and silver for Steve Judge in the Tri3 event. Iain Dawson won Tri6b bronze with guide Matt Ellis, who also won the Age-Group standard distance event in the 35-39 category.
It was great to meet so many athletes in London. We sold out of many suit sizes and we’re now working with the ITU to get some of the traded-in suits sent to developing triathlon nations. Watch this space for more news on that.
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